Obituary Virginia Lee Westerman December 10, 2014

December 10, 2014

Virginia Lee Westerman 

Virginia (Ginnie) Lee Sykes Westerman passed away on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the age of 90 at her home in Santa Paula, California from congestive heart failure.  

Virginia was born in Hynes, California, (now Paramount), on August 20, 1924.  Her parents were William Sykes and Anna Hunter Sykes. She grew up in Long Beach, California with her sister Dorothy.  She attended Longfellow Elementary School, even in a tent after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School.  After graduation, she took business courses and worked as a bookkeeper for most of her working life.  

She loved driving cars and wouldn’t consider dating unless there was a car in the relationship.  Also, the music and bands of the 30’s & 40’s was part of the fun, traveling to the Hollywood Palladium to watch her favorite drummers of the day.  

She married John W. Davis, Jr. in 1946 and her daughter, Linda, was born in 1947.  Three years later she had a miscarriage and was unable to have another child.  

After her divorce from Jack in 1956, she continued to work and also was the leader for a multi-racial group of Camp Fire Girls, having been a Camp Fire Girl herself.  She loved camping and visiting historic sites and sharing that love with the girls.  

After a second marriage that didn’t last, she met her true companion, Charles Gordon Westerman, Jr., and they were married in 1963.  Chuck eventually worked for Continental Airlines and in this next chapter of their lives they traveled the world. At the drop of a hat they would head off to a weekend in Hawaii, and with more planning traveled to Europe, South America, Japan, New Zealand and more.  Many of the friends they met continued to correspond and call.  She treasured the phone calls from Switzerland.  

Her last employment at Family Service of Long Beach brought many more friends into her life.  She handled payroll for 7 offices, always dreading when a new computer system would bring its challenges, but managing to get the checks out.    She retired in 1989 and filled her time with volunteering at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, gardening, sewing and reading.  In the mid-1990’s Chuck developed early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, so they moved to Santa Paula, California in 1996 to be closer to family.  In addition to being Chuck’s caregiver, Virginia continued to garden at her home, joining the Ventura County Garden Club in 1998. Chuck passed away in June 2005.    

In addition to the V. C. Garden Club, she was a member of the Santa Paula Historical Society, Friends of Blanchard Library, Camarillo Quilters Association, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Santa Paula Hospital and a docent at Rancho Camulos.  She knitted hats for the NICU at Ventura County Medical Center and sewed toys for the children needing a smile during tests at Santa Paula Hospital.  Virginia’s desire to keep in touch is legendary.  If you were a neighbor, friend or relative and she knew your birthdate, anniversary or significant date, you received a card.  Just the desire to keep in touch kept her linked in long before it was done by computer.   Ever the bookkeeper, she kept her checkbook balanced right to the end.  As she always said, “Old bookkeepers never die, they just lose their balance”.  She may have been unsteady on her feet, but Virginia never lost the wish to balance her checkbook.

She is survived by her daughter, Linda Joy (Norm) Wilkinson, Santa Paula; grandson Garrett (Jessica) Wilkinson, Orange, CA; granddaughter Sarah Wilkinson, Santa Paula; great grandchildren Sophia and Thomas Wilkinson, Orange; niece Debra Bloomer Wilson, Oklahoma City, OK and nephew Dennis Bloomer, Anaheim, CA.  

The family would like to thank the health professionals who have enriched the final years of Virginia’s life. Dr. Gary Wikholm, Dr. Kay Hara, Dr. Rikk Lynn, Dr. Richard Yamamoto, , NP Elvin Park, Assisted Home Care and Assisted Hospice, with special thanks to Shari Garber and Linda Lira, Rachel Aguilar, patient caregiver for 3 years and special caregiver for the last three days, Justine Garcia.  You all made her feel respected and she in turn touched each of you.

Burial will be at Forest Lawn, Long Beach, CA, joining her husband Chuck, her mother, grandmother and other relatives.  As she wished, there will be no services, but donations may be made to the organization of choice or to the Ventura County Garden Club, 959 Loma Vista Place, Santa Paula, CA 93060.  Even more importantly, she would wish you to enjoy a walk at sunset, listen to Frank Sinatra or most definitely when you hear Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World”, to think of Virginia.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.