Frances Quirbach, a longtime resident of San Diego Country Estates and an avid fan of art, literature and film, died Saturday, October 13, 2012, of complications related to pancreatic health issues. She was 82.|
Ms. Quirbach was born February 13, 1930, in Baltimore, Maryland, and embarked west to Los Angeles in 1953 to pursue her dream of California living, which to her meant year-round mild weather and being a little closer to movie making and movie stars. Her parents and younger sisters eventually followed her to California, where the majority of her family still lives.
She is survived by her sister, Mignon (Helmut) Leins, who lived with Ms. Quirbach in San Diego Country Estates since 1996. Ms. Quirbach also leaves behind another sister, Fernanda Dombay; three nephews, Joe Dombay, Kirk Leins and Eric Leins; and two nieces, Tori White and Danielle Kavounas, as well as their spouses and children. Ms. Quirbach, who lived her early childhood years in Koblenz, Germany, also is survived by cousins and extended family still residing in that country. Her loving short-hair dachshund, Beau, also misses her greatly.
Ms. Quirbach graduated from Ridley Township High School in Ridley, Pennsylvania, in 1948. After graduating, she worked for the Philadelphia Electric Company before moving to Westwood, California, and taking an entry-level office position with the Hilton Hotels corporation. Ms. Quirbach remained her entire career at Hilton, working in the corporate offices in Beverly Hills and later Century City under the guidance of Hilton family executives. She retired in 1994 as the head of accounts payable for the entire Hilton Hotels corporation, having served the company for 40 total years. A few years later, Ms. Quirbach moved to San Diego Country Estates from her longtime home in San Pedro, California.
Loyalty defined Ms. Quirbach. Although she never married or had any children of her own, she treated her nieces and nephews as though they were her own, and they always called her "Dedda." She was a role model for being supportive and optimistic in what is sometimes a far too self-absorbed and cynical world.
Ms. Quirbach's impact on others extends beyond her family. She was a member of the San Vicente Valley Club and a longtime owner of multiple Ramona properties. Ms. Quirbach's most high-profile real estate was at the Highway 78 entrance into The Valley of the Sun. She was part owner of the larger 20-acre property that now houses Pine Tree Acres, a popular choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm.
A funeral mass will be held for Ms. Quirbach Saturday, October 20, 2012, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Services will begin at 11am.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the San Vicente Valley Club to support academic scholarships for deserving youth, or to Sharp Hospice Care by calling: 619-740-4200.
Bonham Bros & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service is assisting the family.
Published in the Ramona Sentinel on Oct. 18, 2012