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GONZALEZ, Helen Lorton

July 24, 2013 5:26 AM

Passed away July 2, 2013 in Woodland California.

Helen was born in Santa Barbara October 2, 1914 to John and Mary (Olivera) Lorton, members of old Californio families. She spent much of her childhood on ranches near Lompoc. Helen married José M Gonz lez in 1931 and moved to Santa Ynez where she resided until shortly before her death.

Helen was devoted to her family, her community, and her church. She was active in numerous community organizations including the Valley Grange, VFW, the Sewing Circle, and the United Fund. For many years she was particularly well known as a cook for the Santa Ynez Tortilla Days. Helen volunteered at Mission Santa Ynez for over 60 years. The priests and brothers at the Mission and at San Lorenzo Seminary were her particular friends. The first CCD classes in the Santa Ynez Valley were held in her home. She was the founder of the Altar Society and active in the Catholic Women, and the Catholic Welfare Bureau. She prepared the beans for the Mission Fiesta for over 20 years. She was famous for her frijoles and her biscuits.

Helen loved to cook, to sew, and to visit. Her visits took her all over the Valley and the Western US, Mexico, and Europe. She was much loved and admired and will be deeply missed by all who knew her. She was preceded in death by her husband José and her son Joseph. She is survived by her daughter Eleanor Gribbin of Santa Ynez and her daughter-in-law Eleanor Gonzalez of Burbank, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.

A funeral mass will be said at Old Mission Santa Ynez on August 16, at 10:00 AM to be preceded by a Rosary on August 15, at 8:30 PM.


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