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Helen Lucille Whiting

Helen Lucille Whiting


Helen “Lucille” Whiting passed away peacefully on Wed., Sept. 21, 2022, at the age of 92 in Fairfield, Solano County, California.

She was born Dec. 17, 1929, in San Diego, to the late Robert Emmett Anglim, a pharmacist who was stationed with the United States Navy, and his wife Helen Krenn, who was employed by Dorothy Randolph Fell, the daughter-in-law of Sarah Drexel of Anthony Drexel. They met on Cliff Walk and were married in St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island. They had two children: a son born in Guam, Robert “Henry” and a daughter, Lucille, born during the Great Depression of 1929-1939. Her parents traveled extensively with the U.S. Navy and lived in many different places. Her favorite place was San Francisco.

Lucille’s first husband was Cecil “George” Hewitt, born in England and naturalized in America. They were married at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Long Beach. At her wedding were her husband’s cousins and her parents and her bridesmaids. One famous person was a friend of her husband, James Whitney, a member of the Coral Casino Club of Santa Barbara. Her father owned the noteworthy mansion “Twin Peaks” in Ojai. Lucille, George and his cousins were frequent guests of the extensive property and mansion.

Her husband’s family settled in Santa Barbara in the 1920s. Daisy Mobbs, George’s cousin — also from England — raised him. She was present at their wedding and was close friends of Hezehiah Griggs Chase (1861-1951) and his cat “Jack,” heir who built Hope Ranch. Harold Stuart Chase’s daughter Pearl Chase was a prominent person of Santa Barbara. “George” Hewitt was the driver/chauffer to Pearl Chase and a close friend of the family. He became a civil engineer and remodeled the old mission of 1786.

They settled in Santa Barbara, where Lucille went to Santa Barbara City College and graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara. She was active in her sorority, Chi Omega, and they would often lunch at the Biltmore.

Lucille became a teacher and taught at Peabody Elementary School. Later she became the director of her own nursery school that she and her husband George had opened. Her employees were from the old prominent Santa Barbara families, as well as the parents of the children. Lucille had Santa Barbara Savings and Loan do a photo shoot for their commercial in the Santa Barbara newspaper of some of the nursery school children; their daughter Cecilie was also present in the photo. Lucille also had some of the children on a local television program. She was an exceptional teacher and administrator.

Some years later, and because of Lucille’s involvement with teaching in the Santa Barbara school system, she met lifelong friend Mina Hansen, psychologist for the school system. Lucille and her daughter were present at the after ceremony of the marriage of Mina and Nathanel Danzinger, advertising mogul.

The nursery school was sold and she divorced.

Later, Lucille was introduced to her second husband by a neighbor, whose fiancé was studying to become an attorney and they introduced V. Edward Drake, an attorney, to Lucille. They were married at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara. He became Deputy District Attorney for Santa Barbara and became members of the University Club on Santa Barbara Street and members of the University Club on Santa Barbara Street and members of The Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, formerly the Coral Casino Club, built in 1937, a legendary retreat and social club of Hollywood.

Lucille continued with her teaching and was now teaching at Hope Elementary School and then Monte Vista elementary school in Santa Barbara.

They moved to Ventura, where Ed had his office in the Ventura County courthouse. Lucille entertained, giving social parties for attorneys, judges and their wives at their home. In the daytime, Lucille taught elementary school and at night, Ed taught real estate at the local college. Summer vacations were spent in Palm Springs where Ed attended lawyers’ conventions and Lucille and her daughter Cecilie spent the days at Rim Crest Condominium, located below movie star Bob Hope’s estate. While in Palm Springs, Ed, Lucille and Cecilie ran into friends from Santa Barbara, the Consulate of Peru and her husband and they were invited over to socialize at the condominium.

Ed was also well versed and fluent in the Spanish language. Years later, there was another trip to Santa Barbara — Ed was to represent the prominent Pearl Chase, she was late in years at her home in Santa Barbara.

Lucille divorced; she became involved as a member of the National Pannellenic Conference and continued to teach school. She decided to obtain her Masters Degree from the University of LaVerne, a private university, where she received a Masters Degree in School Administration. She continued to teach elementary school.

She was later introduced by a friend, Lois Stevenson, a principal in Oxnard School District, to her third husband Erle Francis Whiting, a well-liked principal of Oxnard. He became “The Love of Lucille’s Life.” Erle’s sister, Violet McAuliffe, was a verbatim reporter who flew on Air Force One with President Gerald R. Ford. She was in the White House, Washington D.C., for Presidents Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford and James Earl Carter.

Lucille and Erle lived in Oxnard and Ventura. In Ventura, they lived next door to Vic and Leona Hickey, designer of vehicles, who were friends with movie actors James Garner, Steve McQueen and actress Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards. In 1982, Lucille married Erle at the Presbyterian Church in Ventura. Vic and Leona owned a ranch in Paso Robles and Erle and Lucille were the guests. The property was extensive and they would often go camping on the land. When Vic and Leona passed away, the property sold and became Heritage Ranch, a development of homes.

When Erle retired from being a school principal in Oxnard, they would vacation, camp and travel. They met April and Jim Keenan and became best friends. Lucille and Erle built their dream home on April Lane in Sloat, where they entertained; Lucille loved having parties in their new home. Neighbors would gather for great food, conversation and socialization at the Sloat Town Hall.

Those years were great memory-making days, years of having fun and having a great time! Lucille continued to teach, she was a reading specialist and volunteer at the Plumas County Quincy Library for their literacy program and she also taught her neighborhood children as well.

They loved to travel and took a tour to Europe, traveling to Austria, where Lucille has cousins and family; they also traveled to England to castles and sites. They both shared the love of photography and took lots of pictures.

Erle passed away in 2007, on a second Blue Moon in Quincy. Lucille stayed in Cromberg until the snow was too much to handle at their former house.

She sold the house and purchased a home near her great friends Jack and Betty Chertock. Jack had owned a reading clinic in Los Angeles, where Lucille had taught while earning her Master Degree. She lived across from the golf course in Dingerville.

When her friends passed away, she moved to Paradise Valley Estates in Fairfield, to be close to Lester L. Westling Jr, U.S. Navy Chaplain 1966-87, an ordained Episcopal Deacon, priest, curate and vicar in the Diocese of California. He was a writer and an author, honored and admired by the greatest. Lucille was by his side, along with his children at his passing.

Three years later, Lucille passed away. She had an amazing life. She was listed in several Who’s Who of Awards, Honors and Nominations.

Helen Lucille Whiting is survived by her daughter, Cecilie Anne Hewitt of Quincy, and her stepchildren (Erle’s children) Jim Whiting of Carpenteria, Diana Whiting of Ketchum, Idaho, and Erle’s nephew, Paul Hammer of Connecticut.

She will be laid to rest next to her husband of 25 years, Erle Francis Whiting, at the Cromberg Cemetery in the Portola Cemetery District, in Portola.

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