March 07, 2008
Benjamin M. Sparling November 5, 1913 – February 20, 2008Funeral services for Benjamin M. Sparling were held February 28 at the Basham Funeral Care Chapel, 3312 Niles St., Bakersfield. Interment followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park.Ben passed away in Santa Paula. He was born in Clay Co., Illinois.He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Edna Bessie Sparling and son, Gerald Lee Sparling; also sister Elizabeth Sparling Yount and brothers James Luther, David Carol and Edward L.He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Angie Birky Sparling; sister, Katherine Harrison; daughter, Bettie Sparling Johnson; daughter-in-law, Heidi Sparling; son, James W. Sparling (JoAnne); grandchildren, Debra Holbrook (Dan), Tamra Oxley, Trayce Sparling, Kelly Koerting, Michelle Downs (Jason), Leigh Ann Ballou (Jason); great-grandchildren, including Bryce, Miranda, Taylor, Davis, Jessica, Jenna, and Peyton; and many nieces and nephews. His vast extended family includes Donna Encheff; sons, Dana, Devon, Draper, Dakota/Landon; Mary Ann Long (Mike), Christa McCurdy (Casey), Brandon, Joshua/Evan, Landis, Jonah, John Helms, Abigail, Bethany, Chuck Birky (Laura), John, Sean, Chris, Mike Birky (Monica), Quinn and Caitlyn.Family and friends were very important to Ben and he loved the many gatherings and reunions shared with all from California to Illinois. He loved the outdoors and spent many memorable times hunting, fishing, camping and boating with family and friends. He always enjoyed sharing the many stories of childhood experiences with those who called him their “Papa Ben”.Prior to his retirement as a building contractor, he served as president of the Building Contractors Association, was a member of the Builders Exchange, Masonic Lodge, and Republican Central Committee. Following his retirement as a contractor, he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, W. Alan Harrison, and continued with land development and various projects in and around the area.Papa Ben will be missed by all who knew and loved him.For additional service or floral delivery information, please contact Basham Funeral Care at (661) 873-8200.Steven Eugene FosterSteven Eugene Foster, 46, of Santa Paula, passed away suddenly March 1, 2008. Steven was born December 18, 1961 in Thousand Oaks, and was a lifelong resident of Ventura County.He loved his family and a close second was his love for his music. He could spend hours playing his guitar and recording songs he had written and composed.He joined the Army in 1981, and after traveling Europe extensively was discharged in 1985. He immediately began working at Port Hueneme Naval Base, doing work with radar and remote control systems for missile testing. Ten years later he began working at Point Mugu Naval Base, working on supersonic missiles. He loved his job.Steve will be dearly missed for his humor, wealth of knowledge, and his willingness to help anybody with any problems they had, especially if it was challenging. He had a knack for problem solving and would not give up until he figured it out.He was preceded in death by his father Gene Foster, father-in-law Clarence Hines, brother Wayne Foster, brother-in-law Michael Hines, maternal grandparents Viola and Merlin Russell, paternal grandparents Donald and Eileen Foster, wife’s maternal grandparents Pablo and Lupe Reyes, and wife’s paternal grandparents James and Stella Hines.He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Patricia Hines Foster; son Dakota Eugene Pablo; daughter Danielle Harley Mishell; mother Merlene Givan and stepfather Robert; mother-in-law Hilda Reyes Hines; brother Leonard Foster and wife Charlene; sister-in-law Cynthia Cardenas and husband Frankie; brother-in-law Kevin Hines; stepbrother Doug Givan and wife Tammy; stepsister Shanna Steelsmith and husband Jerry; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was especially close to his nieces Elvia and Cassie Ramos and nephews Michael Ramos, David Hines and Logan Givan and his great-nieces Savannah and Ariel Ramos-Baies. He will be greatly missed by all.A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, March 10 at Skillin Carroll Mortuary, 728 E. Santa Paula St. in Santa Paula, followed by burial service at Santa Paula Cemetery.If you would like to enjoy his musical talent, visit are under the direction of Skillin Carroll Mortuary, 738 E. Santa Paula St., Santa Paula, 525-3391.Florentino O. Martinez
Florentino O. Martinez, age 91, of Santa Paula, passed away March 4, 2008 at his home, following a long illness. He was born October 16, 1916 in Mexico, and was a Ventura County resident for 84 years, coming from Mexico.He was preceded in death by his mother, Concepcion Salas; father, Juan Salas; wife, Irene Martinez; son, Richard Ortiz; and daughter, Rosalie Magdaleno. He is survived by his daughters, Helen Rodarte, Betty Magdaleno, Theresa (husband Raymond) Renteria; daughter-in-law Margie Ortiz; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren; brothers Sam, Victor and Robert Salas; sisters Toni, Tita, Stella, Alice and Mary; and many extended family members.Visitation will be on Monday, March 10 from 4 to 5 p.m. for family and 5 to 8 p.m. for friends and family at Skillin Carroll Mortuary, 738 E. Santa Paula Street. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11 at St. Sebastian Church, with burial at Santa Paula Cemetery.Arrangements are under the direction of Skillin Carroll Mortuary, 738 E. Santa Paula St., Santa Paula, 525-3391.Henrietta PetersHenrietta Peters, 97, of Huron, South Dakota, formerly of Santa Paula, California died Saturday, February 23, 2008 at the Huron Nursing Home.A memorial service is planned for May 19, 2008 at Huron, South Dakota.Henrietta Magdalena Warner was born September 21, 1910 to Charles and Ella (Becker) Warner at Durant, Iowa.Henrietta moved from Santa Paula in 2006 to an assisted living apartment in Huron.  She was active in the Senior Group in Santa Paula that met at the Methodist Church, where she served as secretary treasurer until the group disbanded.On December 25, 1928, she married Paul Wickham.  On June 15, 1968, she married Mathais Peters.She is survived by two sons, Charles (Joyce) Wickham of Huron, SD and Harlan (Barbara) Wickham of Aberdeen, SD; and two daughters, Laura (Paul) Flanagan of Huron SD and Norma (William) Ekman of Ventura, California. She has 13 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.She was preceded in death by her husband, Mathais, her parents, and her brother and sister.Eva LiraEva Lira, 72, of La Puente, passed away on Monday, March 3, 2008 after a long illness. Eva was born December 20, 1935 in McLain, Muskogee County, Oklahoma.She had been living in Los Angeles County for the past 42 years. She was a Santa Paula resident from 1938 to 1960. She was a homemaker.Eva was an active member of the Evangel Christian Fellowship Church. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister; she will be truly missed.Eva is survived by her beloved husband of 54 years, Albert D. Lira; sons, Danny Lira of La Puente and Mark Lira of Granada Hills; daughters, Tonya Lira of Maryland, Sherri Lira of Encino, Terri Ernst of Vallecito, CA, and Kim Wilson of Arnold, CA; sisters, Margaret Cummings of Taft, Edna Quintero of Santa Paula, and Dovie Wisma of Oxnard; sons-in-law Mark Wilson and Kurt Ernst; daughters-in-law Anne Horelly, Mary Hanley and Adela Ramos; 11 grandchildren, Jr., Nicole, Michael, Elizabeth, Daniel, Marcy, Sonia, Bernadette, Danny Jr., Linda, and Chris; and great-grandchildren Eva, Alyssa and Nathaniel.Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 7, and funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 8 at the Joseph Reardon Funeral Home, Ventura. Burial will follow at Santa Paula Cemetery.Even was entrusted to the care of the family-owned Joseph Reardon Funeral Home, 757 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-8623.

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