Santa Paula Times

Obituary Letha Iris Lowe Weaverling June 5, 2015

June 05, 2015

Letha Iris Lowe Weaverling

Letha Iris Lowe Weaverling passed away on May 29, 2015 in her home. She was born on June 10, 1920 in Stark City, Missouri. She and her parents, Margaret W. Jones Lowe and Lewis Beverly Lowe, moved to California when she was three years old. When she was six the family increased by one with the birth of Letha’s sister, Beverly Jean.

Letha was quite intelligent and the school system moved her up a grade when she was in third grade. She was rather shy as a child. She graduated from Ventura High School in 1937 and Ventura Junior College in 1939, which at that time was on the same campus  as the high school.

She worked for the Edison Company and Jack Rose Department store before getting married.

She went to a dance one evening at the USO in Port Hueneme and that is where she met her future husband, Charles E. Weaverling from Anacortes, WA. They were married February 7, 1943 and had many happy years until his death in 1986.

In 1945 their twins were born, Lea and Lyn. Their third daughter, Nancy, was born in 1959. Yes, a 13 year gap. The twins loved their baby sister and were built-in babysitters for Letha and Chuck.

Letha spent most of her growing-up years in Ventura. Letha and Chuck lived in Ventura until the twins were two and then they moved to Santa Paula where they remained the rest of their lives. Letha was an accomplished pianist, but she had always wanted to be a church organist. In the early 1950’s she took organ lessons from Byron King, a well known organist at the First Methodist Church in Santa Paula. Her first job as a church organist was at the Universalist Church in Santa Paula, and then in 1954 she was asked to be the church organist at the Presbyterian Church in Santa Paula.  She played there for over 35 years. Her daughter, Nancy, is the church organist there today.

Letha had several secretarial jobs in Santa Paula while the girls were growing up: Agri-Serve, Del King Gas Station and Glen City School. It was while she was at Glen City School that her principal Dorothy Pinkerton, decided mom should finish her education and become a teacher. She did just that; she went to San Fernando State College, got her teaching degree and was just about to teach when she found out she was pregnant with Nancy. She waited a year and then she started her 25  year teaching career at the then new Blanchard School in Santa Paula. She taught 4th grade in Room 2 for the entirety of her career. Even as of a few weeks ago she  had students coming up to her and asking her if she remembered them as they were in her class and she was their favorite teacher.

Letha is survived by daughters: Lea Blair (Ron) of Santa Paula, Lyn Gastauer (Jerry) of Carlsbad, Nancy Austin (David) of Santa Paula; grandchildren: Charlie Blair (Tammy) of Santa Paula, Jeremy Blair of Woodland Hills, Craig Gastauer of Oceanside, Cathy Niesel (Joe) of Oceanside, Zeke Berkley of Oxnard, and Becky Berkley of Santa Paula, great grandchildren: Sierra, Katie & Dakota Blair, Jacob Blair, Samantha & Danica Nielsen, Colin Gastauer, Darien and River Dublin; and sister: Beverly Eidson of Bakersfield.

The family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to mom’s caregivers: Becky, Helen, Erica, Josie, Pam and Nataly, as well as Dr. Anna Chen.

There will be a celebration of life at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Paula, 121 Davis St., Santa Paula on Saturday, July 11, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Paula.