Howard Frank Thurston October 30, 1927 - June 01, 2013 Howard Frank Thurston was born in Oildale and passed away in Bakersfield, at the age of 85. He was a WWII Veteran in the US Army. After the Army, he went to college earning a Degree in Mortuary Science with an Embalmer's Certification. In 1953, Howard entered the Kern County Sheriff's Academy and became a Deputy Sheriff. He retired from the Sheriff's Office after 36 years of service in 1989. Most of his time with the Sheriff's Office was in the Homicide Detail. He was a Life Member of the California Homicide Investigators Association. He loved teaching and taught Investigation Techniques at the Sheriff's Academy for many years. He was also a Hunter Safety Instructor, teaching many Hunter Safety classes. Howard was a forty-year resident of Lamont where he and his wife, Lou Ann, were heavily involved in their community. Howard was a Board Member of the Lamont Storm Water District, a Board Member of the Lamont School District, a Photography Leader for Sunset 4-H Club, a Member of Kern County Heritage Commission, and a Board Member of the Housing Authority of Kern County. He also had a great love for the Kern County Fair serving as a 4-H Department Head for more than 35 years. He also worked for the Kern County Fair as Chief of Security and in their Customer Relations Department. Howard had a love for woodworking, cooking, photography, and spending time outdoors at his cabin in the mountains at Jack Ranch. He loved flying and was a private pilot and a member of Bakersfield Experimental Aircraft Association. He also enjoyed magic, and built nearly all of his son's magic illusions for many years. Howard was a 70-year member of the Order of DeMolay. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Bakersfield Scottish Rite, Al Malakah Shrine, Kern County Shrine Club, and served as Captain of Hharis Marching Unit. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge. Howard was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Lou Ann Thurston in 2003. He is survived by his sister, Helen Ewing of San Diego, CA; daughter, Linda Johnson and her husband Jim of Thousand Oaks, CA; son, Frank Thurston and his wife Cami of Bakersfield; granddaughter Melissa Cook and her husband David of Fredericksburg, VA; grandson Justin Johnson and his wife Kirsten of Thousand Oaks, CA; grandson James Daniel Johnson of Thousand Oaks, CA; granddaughter Kristina Johnson of Fredericksburg, VA; granddaughter Cassidy Thurston of Bakersfield; and granddaughter Sydney Thurston of Bakersfield, CA. Service will be held graveside at Historic Union Cemetery, 730 Potomac Street Haven of Rest section, on June 26, 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Howard's memory may be made to the Kern Co. Sheriff's Employees' Benefit Association, 1350 Norris Road, Bakersfield, CA 93308. www.bakersfield.com/obits
This obituary was originally published in the Bakersfield Californian.