Santa Paula Times
Obituary Carole Reese August 12, 2015
Published:  August 12, 2015

Carole Reese 

On July 31st with the most beautiful moon rising in the night sky, Carole Reese left this earth on to her next adventure.  

Carole was born, Ellen Carole Fairbanks to George “Pudgy” and Billie Fairbanks on February 3rd 1939 in Santa Paula, CA.  Known to all as Carole, she was a wife, a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, a daughter; a sister and a friend to whomever she met.

Carole was raised in Santa Paula by her dad Pudgy and stepmother Rosie Fairbanks.  However step was never a term used by mom when referring to Gramma Rosie, as most of us knew her.  Mom lived most of her life in Santa Paula.  For many years she was a single Mom working two jobs to provide for her children, Kevin and Leslie.  She worked as a cosmetologist during the day and would wait tables at night.  Mom always had the support of Gramma Rosie, Great Grandma Burleson, Aunt Cheryl Rae and Aunt Madeline in caring for them.  These women were the ultimate example of “It takes a village” when it came to caring for Kevin and Leslie.

Carole met Bob Reese in early 1975 and they married on November 8th of that year, they would have celebrated their 40th anniversary this year.  Dad had three children of his own, Lauri, Vicki and Rob.  They were now a family of seven. During the early years of their life together Mom opened her own salon called Total Concept with locations in Santa Paula and Fillmore.  She had a chain!! In the mid 80’s Mom closed her business and retired.  It was then that Mom and Dad built their own home in Apple Valley staying there for about two years until Dad’s career took them to Alta Loma, where they lived until returning to Santa Paula.

Mom and Dad had many adventures together.  For one, they had five teenagers at one point!  That’s an adventure all on its own!  They loved to travel.  Fishing in Alaska every year and sending home the most amazing salmon and halibut.  They also loved Hawaii and continued to travel there yearly until Mom’s health wouldn’t allow it.  Mom loved to entertain and threw some amazing parties over the years.  They also shared a love of the theatre and saw many wonderful productions together.

Mom was so talented in many ways.  She was a seamstress beyond belief.  She made many beautiful quilts that we will all continue to cherish.  Also a Master Gardener who took great pride in not only her vegetable garden but all of the landscaping around her home. No matter when you drove by her home, you would always see everything in full bloom!  And man could she cook!!!  Her skills in the kitchen were indescribable!  This is a talent she passed on to both of her children but she and son Kevin shared a passion for cooking and baking.  They spent many hours in the kitchen cooking and experimenting…but mostly laughing and enjoying just being together.  When Mom’s health wouldn’t allow her to stand and cook…she still sat and gave orders. Oh how she could give supervise!!  Even as recent as this last Christmas she was teaching Kaitlyn from her wheelchair how to make Christmas cookies in order to pass more of her cooking knowledge down to the next generation of her family..  We will cherish the memories forever.

Mom’s best friend in the world though is her daughter Leslie.  Leslie was lucky enough to be able to share everything with her mom, everything!  Sometimes Mom would cover her ears and say, “lalalala” but she was always, always there for her girl.

Kevin and Leslie had an ongoing rivalry over who was Mom’s favorite.  This rivalry was evident even at the end, as Leslie arrived home to say her final good bye to Mom, whom had already passed.  Leslie told us through her tears and as we were all crying, “I was able to talk to mom and tell her how much I loved her while driving home to her side.  Of course she couldn’t talk but she heard how much I loved her.  And just before I said goodbye she was able to say, “You have always been my favorite.”  At which point all tears in the room then turned to laughter.  Our Leslie has always had impeccable timing. 

Mom was also very close to her daughter Lauri and Granddaughter Kaitlyn.  Every Christmas Eve Lauri and Kaitlyn spent the night with Mom and Dad so they could all be together on Christmas morning to watch the magic of Christmas through Kaitlyn’s eyes.  Mom and Lauri looked forward to building Kaitlyn’s “Santa Gift” together that night. Even to the point that they didn’t want to break the news and finally tell Kaitlyn at age 11 the truth about Santa Claus. 

And then there is Becky.  Mom’s Becky.  Becky Mayberry has been Mom’s caregiver for a little over two years now.  However to call her a caregiver does not begin to describe all she did for our Mom.  She cooked for her, she bathed her, and she made sure she took her meds.  More than that she was like a daughter to her and loved our Mom as her own and Mom loved her so very much. Every evening when Becky would leave for the day their last words to each other were always, “I love you”, “I love you too”. Becky is and will always be a part of our family and to say thank you will never be enough.  We love you Becky.

Mom is survived by her husband Bob.  Her children Kevin Fildes and his wife Patti; Leslie Becker; Lauri Barcelona;  Rob Reese and Vicki Nickeson.  Her grandchildren Nicholas; Stephanie; Michael; Kaitlyn; Megan; Cory A. ; Cory F.; Jill; Julian; Jaycee; Heather; Ashley & Alex. Her great grandchildren Elijah; Ella O; Elena; Luca; Brooke; Ella C.; Clifford and Nate.  Mom also leaves her mother, Billie Baldi; sisters Cheryl Ray Fairbanks and Pam Costa, brothers Charles Fairbanks and Vic Baldi.  And her much loved Aunt Madeline Burleson.  Mom also leaves behind her beloved four legged babies; Foxi, Smoky and Lil’ Bit (aka Missy).  Also, a special thank you to Natalie Beckman, who kept mom’s house sparkley and Thomas Stribling for keeping her garden growing.

She was predeceased by her father and mother Pudgy and Rosie Fairbanks; Stepfather Rick Baldi; father in-law Lee Reese and mother in-law Adeline Reese.

A celebration of life is planned for Aug 22nd at Carole and Bob’s home from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.  Please contact Leslie Becker at or 805-208-9871 to RSVP as well as for address and directions.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation in Carole’s name to Assisted Hospice Care 4450 Westinghouse St. Ventura CA 93003 or the charity of your choice.