April 18, 2003
Frank Altamirano VargasFrank passed away on April 2, 2003 in Sacramento, CA at the age of 87. He was born on May 5, 1915 in Los Nietos, CA. At an early age, his family moved to Santa Paula where he was a resident until 1942. He was a musician, and learned to play clarinet and tenor saxophone. He performed with an early Santa Paula-based swing band in the 1930s which performed at numerous functions in the Ventura-Santa Barbara area.In 1942, he married Mary Louise Tirre, daughter of the Rev. Luis P. Tirre, and Maria Tirre of El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church of Santa Paula. Frank then served in the U.S. Army in World War II in New Guinea and Australia. He joined a group of fellow soldiers in his unit to perform to help ease the burdens of war.Following the war, Frank and Mary Louise moved to Los Angeles, and purchased their first home in the San Fernando Valley. Frank worked as an equipment operator with Los Angeles Department of Water & Power until his retirement in 1979.Frank valued the causes of social justice, non-violence and preserving earth’s resources. He was active in the growing Mexican American civil rights movement, and also registered voters. His early experiences working in orchard ranches in the Santa Paula area gave Frank life long impressions concerning the conditions of farm workers and their dignity. At home, Frank enjoyed planting trees, caring for family pets and feeding the seasonal migration of birds that seemed to have an aerial map knowing that at Frank’s house they would be welcomed during their flight. Friends and neighbors complimented Frank on his healthy orange and peach trees that contributed to the beauty the neighborhood.Frank will be deeply missed by all who were touched by his life. Our lives have been enriched all these years and we are grateful. He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty-years, Mary Louise, and his son, Edward, both of Rancho Cordova, CA; son, Reinaldo, of Los Angeles; and sisters Evelyn Hunt of Carson, CA and Edna Porras of Santa Paula.
The family requests any expressions of sympathy take form of contributions in memory of Frank to the United Farm Workers, Regional Office, 920 “A” Street, Oxnard, CA 93030.Frank will be interred at Santa Paula Cemetery following a private family burial.Death NoticeYevonne Cutrer. age 71, Mohave Valley, Arizona, died 4-3-2003, Graveside services Santa Paula Cemetery. Pierce Brothers Stetler Mortuary

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