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Frances Ann Larson died peacefully on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014, at her home in San Luis Obispo in the presence of her family. Born in 1926 in Muskegon, Mich., she was the granddaughter of Swedish immigrants. While becoming a registered nurse at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, she meet her future husband, Roger Keith Larson, when he was a young intern. Frances and Roger were married in 1949. They raised four children. The family resided in Fresno from 1957 to 2011. Besides being a housewife and mother, Frances worked with Project Head Start and later as a nurse at in a home for the elderly. She also enjoyed volunteering at the Garden House Tea Room that raised funds for a women's shelter. In 2011, Frances and Roger moved to San Luis Obispo to be close to family members. The family wishes to acknowledge Dr. Steven Sainsbury; the loving and compassionate caregivers, Rosalba Osio, Darlene Buhler, Patricia Cordova, Laura Salazar, and Emma Vasquez; and Wilshire Hospice Service. Surviving Frances are her brother, Warren Appel of Loveland, Colo.; sons John (Judy) of San Diego and Ron (Claudia) of San Luis Obispo; daughters Joan Belcinski (Richard) of San Jose and Sherri Baffa of Chicago; as well as five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren living in Napa, San Diego, and Salem, Ore., as well as China and Italy. Frances was preceded in death by her husband Roger in 2013. A private family memorial service, officiated by the Rev. David Burgeson, will be held Thursday, April 24, 2014, in San Luis Obispo, with the committal of ashes to the sea at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wilshire Hospice Service, 777 South St., Ste. R, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. Read Obituary
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Kenneth Hague Miller passed away Thursday, April 17, 2014, at his home. Ken was born in August 1925, in Uniontown, Pa., to Ramoth George Miller and Edna Jane Hague, the youngest of four children: Jean, Beryle, George and Ken. The family lived in Pennsylvania and Ken graduated from Smithfield High School in 1943. During World War II, he served as a Staff Sargent in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the South Pacific. He moved to San Luis Obispo in May 1947 and married Jeanne Barbara Knutson, also of San Luis Obispo, in November of that year. Ken spent his career as a highway construction engineer for both the Division of Highways and private contractors. He later did consulting work for the Army Corps of Engineers. Ken was a member of the American Legion (45 years), Elks Club (50 years), Board of the San Luis Obispo Credit Union (35 years), San Luis Obispo Country Club (30 years) and a charter member of Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church (60 years). He served as an appointee of the SLO School Board for the planning and development of the Sinsheimer Baseball Field and was instrumental in its construction in 1972. He also served on the Personnel Commission of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District for many years. Ken's hobbies included woodworking, golf, travel, coaching Little League and Babe Ruth baseball and he was an avid fan of many other sports. Ken will be remembered and greatly missed by those that knew him. Ken is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jeanne; sons Jim (June) and Paul (Emily); and four granddaughters Nicole, Kristen, Cara and Anna. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church, 1701 Fredericks in San Luis Obispo. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church or the charity of one's choice. Read Obituary
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Norma Lorraine (Bassi) Monson died Saturday, April 19, 2014. Norma, the only child of Americo A. Bassi and Annie Niva (Sebastian) Bassi, was born in June 1918 at home on the Bassi Ranch in Green Valley, southeast of Cambria in San Luis Obispo County. The first name she remembers having is "Nono." Norma frequently had fond memories from that early time in her life. After the deaths of both parents when Norma was six, she went to live with her maternal grandparents, Manuel and Maria Sebastian of San Simeon. At that time, the Sebastians owned and operated the Sebastian's Store in San Simeon. Norma attended and graduated from Pacific School in San Simeon. While in elementary school, she studied piano with Mrs. Nigel Keep, wife of Mr. Hearst's head groundsman. Mrs. Keep had been a concert pianist. Norma continued playing piano throughout her life. When Norma was 10, tennis courts were built in San Simeon, adjacent to the Pacific School, where Norma learned to play tennis. She frequently played tennis with Mr. Hearst's guests when a fourth was needed for a doubles match. The Sebastian family, as well as others of the Village, were frequent guests at the Saturday movies at the Hearst's movie theatre. Norma graduated from Coast Union High School in 1935, just before her 17th birthday, and attended Santa Barbara State College. While attending Santa Barbara State, Norma met and married Frederick Oscar Monson. For more than 58 years they loved and cared for each other. Fred died on June 7, 1995. Since that time, Norma has continued to find joy in her family. With the exception of her college years at Santa Barbara, and two years during World War II, Norma had made her home in San Luis Obispo County - first in Green Valley and San Simeon, and later in Cambria, San Luis Obispo, Templeton and Paso Robles. Wherever she lived, she willingly played the piano for family, school programs, churches, soloists and community musical productions. At one time, Norma was a loan officer at Crocker National Bank. In 1959, she attended Cal Poly, where she earned her Elementary Education degree. Norma taught in three San Luis Obispo County school districts: Oceano, San Luis Obispo and Templeton. While at Templeton, she took further educational credits and became a Miller-Unruh reading specialist. Before having her family, Norma had traveled to Arizona, Texas and Mexico. While raising their five children, Fred and Norma often took the children on day trips to the many beautiful parks and beaches in San Luis Obispo County. In 1970, Norma took an extended European trip with her youngest daughter. She visited many of the places she had only read about, starting in Paris, France. She visited the Louvre, attended the Comedie France and the Bastille Day Parade. In addition, she visited Italy, Switzerland, Germany, England and Scotland. In addition to the piano, Norma enjoyed cooking, gardening and painting. Her concentration the last 20 years had been genealogy and she had researched both hers and Fred's family lines. She also avidly followed the U.S. Stock Market activities. Norma is survived by four children Elaine Rasmussen (Larry) of Ventura, Calif.; John Monson (Carol) of Friday Harbor, Wash.; Lee Monson (Heidi) of Atascadero; and Lorraine "Lorrie Anne" Monson of Cedar Glen, Calif.; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; a great-great grandchild; nieces, nephews and many cousins. In addition to her husband, Norma was preceded in death by her eldest son and a grandson. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, 2014, at the Los Osos Valley Memorial Park. Read Obituary
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