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Posted on September 2, 2016 | 3:15 p.m.

Edith J. Gillis of Santa Maria, 1916-2016

Source: Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens

Edith J. Gillis.

Edith J. Gillis, longtime resident of Santa Maria, passed away August 24, 2016 at the age of 100. Edith was born June 26, 1916 in Birmingham, Alabama, to the Reverend L.M. Jones and Alma Strother Jones.

The first 32 years of her life she lived many places in the Deep South.  As a child she moved often with her parents as her father, a Southern Baptist minister, was assigned to different churches. She attended Howard College.  During WWII Edith married Roy A. Cox in Alexander City, Alabama. They had one daughter, Lyndon.

In 1948 Edith and Roy divorced; Edith and her daughter moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a seamstress, homemaker, and as a secretary for Meals for Millions. In 1965 she married Don Gillis.  They divorced a few years later.

In 1973 Edith moved to Tepusquet Canyon outside Santa Maria where she lived on the old Vaclav Ryzner homestead with her son-in-law and daughter, Andy and Lyndon Hazi, for 29 years.  To her skills as a cook and seamstress, she added milking, churning, cheese making, vegetable gardening, winemaking, canning, goat keeping and poultry raising.  

She acquired a deep knowledge of the use and cultivation of medicinal herbs. She helped lead a 4-H dairy goat project, instructing members in making yogurt.  Edith helped rear two granddaughters, Rosanne and Melody.  

In 1978 she and her first husband, Roy, became friends again.  Subsequently Roy travelled from Alabama to Tepusquet several times to visit her and their daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters.

In 2002 Edith moved to a cottage in Orcutt, where she continued to garden for the next 10 years. In 2012, she moved to Mydor’s Open Guest Home in Santa Maria, where she lived until a week prior to her passing.

Edith was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Peggy Jones Bales; and both husbands.  She is survived by Lyndon and Andy Hazi, daughter and son-in-law; Rosanne and AJ Cisney, granddaughter and her husband; Claire and Brooklyn Cisney, great-granddaughters; Melody Hazi, granddaughter and Jonah Davila, great grandson.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Robert Okerblom for his compassionate care for many years;  Brenda Cisney, RN, for her expert help and advice for the past several years; and Mydor’s Open Guest Home for making Edith as comfortable as possible in her last years.

A private, informal service will be held Friday September 2 at the Santa Maria Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley Hoffman Mortuary.

To  leave a condolence for the family visit www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com

 

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