Published: July 18, 2012
Virginia George, 82, passed away June 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV, where she was flown following a brain hemorrhage and coma.
She was born in Onaga, KS. She was active in school and sports, a member of the basketball team and president of her senior class. After working for the phone company, she married Clayton Swisher. They were married 25 years and raised one daughter.
She graduated from Ventura College in 1977 and worked for the college district doing clerical work and teaching until she retired. She loved to travel the world and RV, including Alaska on her own. She moved to Arizona where she married for a third time.
She is survived by her husband, Paul George of Kingman, AZ; daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Peter Hicks of Santa Paula, CA; sister and brother-in-law, Emmogene and Bill Barrentine of Antioch, CA; three nieces and an aunt. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Annette Swisher; parents Mike Wegner and Adeline Ogg; brother and sister-in-law, Virgil and Gladys Wegner; two nephews and a niece.
She was a strong, independent woman who lived life her way. We love her and miss her sense of humor, generosity, and all the fun we had together. She left us too soon.
Edwin Fernando Beach
Edwin Fernando Beach, retired Associate Justice of California’s Second District Court of Appeal, died at his Santa Paula home on July 4, with his beloved wife, Barbara, by his side. He was 88.
“We were wonderful, close companions for 11 years. We shared so many joys, music, travel, friends,” said Barbara.
Born in May 19, 1924 in Lima, Peru, to Manuel Fernando and Stella Beach Ortiz, he moved with his mother and sister to California in 1930. His mother, a graduate of Hamline University, attended USC’s School of Education and became an educator and interpreter while the family lived in Sierra Madre and Pasadena. Justice Beach attended high school in Pasadena and while attending Pasadena City College volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
Returning to civilian life after military service, he resumed his education. While attending USC, he met and married Janet Freeman of Pasadena in 1948. He graduated from USC’s School of Law in 1950.
After graduation, he and Janet moved to the small Ventura County town of Santa Paula. Santa Paula became their “hometown,” where they spent their life together and raised 7 children. He and Janet were married for over 50 years until her death in 2000.
Ed first visited Santa Paula as a college gymnast, and was charmed by the community in the Santa Clara Valley, its tree-lined streets and surrounding farms and ranches. One of Santa Paula’s prominent attorneys, Arthur Blanchard, offered him office space.
“I made myself a nice sign that I lettered myself and I still have it....’Edwin F. Beach, Attorney at Law,’ and it was a foot and a half long and two inches high, and I was very proud of that,” he said in an interview for the California Appellate Court Legacy Project. It was the start of what would become a long and successful career.
As well as maintaining his private practice, he served as judge in the Ventura County Justice Court. In 1968 he was elected to serve as a Municipal Court judge in Ventura County, but before his term began he was appointed by then Governor Ronald Reagan to the Superior Court. In 1973, Reagan appointed him to the California Court of Appeal with presiding judge Lester Roth, assistant presiding judge Macklin Fleming, and Lynn “Buck” Compton. He also sat on “pro-tem” on occasion for the California Supreme Court. In 1989 he was honored by the Ventura County Bar Association as the first recipient of the Ben E. Nordman Humanitarian Award.
In Santa Paula, he immersed himself in civic life as well as the law. At various times he served on the boards of trustees of the Santa Paula Memorial Hospital, the Blanchard Community Library, the Santa Paula Historical Society, and the founding boards of the Ventura County Symphony and Santa Clara Valley Bank. He was a member of the Santa Paula Rotary Club, and when his 1973 appointment to the Appellate Court made attending its regular Monday lunch meetings impossible, he was made an honorary member. He was frequently called to speak at Memorial Day observances and civic events. One Santa Paula native recalled that he had been the commencement speaker at both her junior high and high school graduations. He and wife Janet were jointly awarded the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award. Their home was the site for countless fundraisers, parties, and concerts for local community groups. With many friends from widely diverse backgrounds wanting to shake hands and chat, a one-block downtown walk could become an hour-long event.
In the Army he had often ridden horses, and remained an avid rider. He frequently rode his chestnut mare, Bonnie, in local parades, often in a Spanish riding costume. His children, all riders, often accompanied him on their own horses or driving their pony cart.
He pursued many interests with great enthusiasm. He loved music, took piano lessons into his 80s, and played the piano and several instruments with greater zeal than skill. He was a talented artist, and often painted en pleine aire with his good friend, the artist and banker Douglas Shively. He greatly respected the stonemasons who created the rock walls around the gardens of the house he and Janet built in 1960, and was delighted when they helped him learn their craft. He often spent weekends with a sledge hammer in hand, “chopping rocks” and building walls. He loved poetry, reciting Longfellow at length. He was a fan of S.J. Perelman, the Marx Brothers, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill.
In 2001 he married his second wife, fellow Rotarian Barbara Robinson. His 11 years with Barbara were joyfully spent traveling, gardening, enjoying music and friends. A favorite memory is their trip to England, visiting Cornwall and meeting Barbara’s cousins in other parts of England.
He will be remembered as a man of extraordinary integrity, kindness, generosity, friendliness, intellect, and humility.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Beach of Santa Paula and their beloved Welsh Corgi, Sir Wilfred, and his children, grandchildren and two great-grandsons: Carol Smead (Charles) of Mosca, CO, their sons Isaac, Mark and Aaron (Marci), and their son Roman, John Beach (Martha Campbell) of Berkeley and Reno, NV, and daughters Rose Gurvits (Nikita) and Claire Hembrow-Beach; Thomas Beach (Cindy) of Camarillo, and son Taylor and daughter Lauren Lindsey; Jeanne Beach Eigner of San Diego and daughter Elizabeth; David Beach (Suzanne) of Santa Rosa and daughter Allyson and son Justin; Anne Beach Randall (Paul) of Santa Paula and daughter Elizabeth (John Barbic) and their son Zachary; Margaret Beach Phelps (Paul) of Santa Paula and son Cole and daughter Emily; and Barbara’s daughters Louise Warren and Becky Robinson. He was preceded in death by his sister, Elizabeth Beach of Cayucos, California.
There will be a memorial gathering for friends from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 28, at Justice Beach’s home at 1500 Say Road, Santa Paula. Donations are suggested to the Friends of the Library of the Blanchard Memorial Library, the Santa Paula Rotary’s Polio Plus Project and The Veterans Home of California, 10900 Telephone Road, Ventura