December 10, 1929 – February 16th, 2020
Living an adventurous and full life of ninety years Ramona Lucille Wall passed away at her son’s home in Three Rivers California on the 16th of February, 2020.
Throughout her life Lucille endured no shortage of physical hardships. For a brief time she sought refuge in a bottle from her lot in life and the challenges of raising a family as a single mother, but Mom always saw her infirmities as a challenge and she never allowed these set backs to evolve into bitterness. She loved life too much.
Lucille was born to John Wesley Nellany and Emma Ruth at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. Her little brother Jack came along in 1931. In 1949 she married David K. Longstreet and they brought two sons into the world: William Stephen Longstreet (Wall) and David Michael Longstreet (Wall). Possibly due to Dad’s big league dreams of a baseball career and having a tidy, traditional home life, Mom and Dad did not get on too well so before we were old enough to tie our shoe laces Mom left Dad and soon after hooked up with Porter Tom Wall. Growing up, Lucille enjoyed the attentions of her grandparents William and Susie Coleman, and John Francis and Lina Nellany (Hausholter). Also prominent in her childhood were her Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Johnny (Shamburg), her Aunt Mildred (Nellany), and her uncle Warren Coleman, who had a memorable cow named Bessie, and who was the father of her younger cousin William ‘Bill’ Coleman whom she was fond of.
Like Mom, Tom was an adventurer of sorts and in the early days of their marriage we traveled quite a bit while Tom sought work. Mom loved these times traveling in New Mexico and then setting up housekeeping in a Stanislaus Forest cabin. After these job prospects dried up however we all moved back to Santa Barbara where Mom had two more children with Tom: Porter Frederick and Diana Suzanne (d.). One day Tom, deciding he was not quite up to the rigors of fatherhood, took off leaving Mom with four young children to raise. To assist in job prospects she enrolled in Joseph’s School of Beauty and the Sue Sizemore School of Modeling. With help from the family, using her seamstress skills, waiting tables, and working at the O’Hashi Beauty Salon she got us by and although our time there was brief, we children enjoyed a pleasant, and memorable childhood in this charming seaside town.
Chaffing under pressure from her dependence on the family, Mom made the decision to leave Santa Barbara and migrated south to settle in Long Beach. Attractive, energetic, a quick study with an engaging smile, Mom had little trouble finding work in a variety of careers: a sales consultant at J. J. Haggerty – a women’s specialty store in Los Angeles, technical writer and executive assistant positions at a number of businesses, hair stylist in Belmont Shore, and her custom sewing and alterations business in the evenings. Possibly her favorite of all was her job managing the inventory at El Modeno Gardens wholesale nursery in Irvine. In the early seventies Lucille went back to school to follow an early childhood passion of hers to study writing, publishing, and communications at Cypress College. Here in her early forties she was active on the student council and editor of the student newspaper.
Mom was passionate about so much in life, chief among them were; animals, the ocean, books, plants. Growing up we children were never without a menagerie of pets; dogs and cats of course, but also fish, a variety of reptiles, chinchillas, monkeys, raccoons, parakeets and even a toucan, all memorable experiences in our lives – as was the constant odor of animal poo and flea bites. Moving, for unknown reasons to us children, was a ritual and we quickly became expert organizers and packers. Most of our youth Mom was able to provide a home for us in Long Beach or Anaheim but for a spell we rented a place in Seal Beach and even for a time lived on a boat moored in San Pedro Harbor. I do not believe we ever did take it out on the ocean but it was part of Mom’s life adventure. After we kids had grown up and moved out on our own she purchased a cabin and lived a couple years in Running Springs in the San Bernardino Mountains. How she managed winters on her crutches without falling and breaking her fabricated hips we find almost a miracle.
After retirement Lucille moved to Hemet where she started a very successful garden club. Diving headlong into the gardening world her yard became for many years a showcase of horticultural and edible delights, her oranges and tangelos always the best her family ever enjoyed. At her Hemet home, with persistent sedimentary layers of garden soil under her finder nails, a never made bed with a constant pile of books, papers, and to-do lists strewn across and cascading down to the floor, and maybe just room enough for her golden retriever, here Mom was at her very happiest.
Having grandkids was a great source of joy and inspiration to Grandma Lucille and as they grew up she thrilled in making costumes, creative cut and paste birthday cards, teaching them crafts and sewing, and attending their school performances. Her intricate needlepoint stockings depicting a variety of Christmas scenes will be treasured for generations to come. These gifts along with the inspiration of how she fearlessly faced the physical and emotional challenges throughout her life, and the happy memories of times together, will forever kindle a spark of gratitude, respect, and joy in our hearts. Thank you Mom for our lives and for the devotion of yours.
Lucille is survived by her three sons, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren.
December 10, 1929 – February 16th, 2020