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July 6, 1931 - February 19, 2014
Resident of Scotts Valley
Luna began life in poverty and ended it rich in friends, life experiences, and opportunities seized. Her mother died giving birth to her and her twin brother Don. She spent months in an orphanage and was then passed from relative to relative. She worked her way through high school and toward a college degree. Work included planting, picking, and packing farm vegetables, working at a soda fountain, and serving as a clerk-typist. She was offered a college scholarship but could not accept it because she lacked the required $100 to register. She joined the U.S.
in 1949, dropped out briefly to manage a Howard Johnson restaurant, and then re-enlisted. Her Army career in intelligence and computer technology took her all over the U.S. and the world. She received many commendations and medals for her outstanding leadership. One of her commanding officers said of her, "If one can maintain one's sense of humor and maintain a respect for one's co-workers, any problem can be overcome. Problems exist—problems can be overcome--and you did much to show us how." Another stated, "Her unique and creative approach led to novel solutions that maximized individual productivity. Her dedication, drive, and motivational skills permitted our unit to achieve unprecedented success."
Luna carried the same drive into retirement, learning to fly a plane so she could share her husband William Elliott's love of flying, and enjoying the benefits of Sky Park Airport after they moved to Spring Lakes Park in Scotts Valley in 1978. She also finally achieved her dream of a college degree by graduating from U.C. Santa Cruz in Information Sciences. Next, she took up golf at Scotts Valley's Valley Gardens Golf Course. Over the years, she received numerous awards for her excellence in golfing, which included a hole-in-one, and once again showed her leadership skills as a cherished member of the Valley Gardens Ladies Golf Club. "Whatever needed doing, Luna did, and no one can replace her," said one member.
The greatest achievement, though, was her generosity to her friends, family, and community. She purchased a van for the Scotts Valley Senior Center and for years enjoyed driving local seniors to appointments. She was far more interested in listening to others' stories than in telling her own, and many of her friends had no idea how many facets Luna's life contained. Her warm voice, radiant smile, humor, fearless energy to learn anything new, and deep kindness endeared her to all who knew her. She never missed a day at her favorite table at Scotts Valley's Coffee Cat, one of her many families.
She was pre-deceased by her husband William in 1979, her step-daughter Eileen Elliott in 2012, her parents Alger R. Waters and Luna Loda Thompson, her brothers Marion B. Waters and Robert H. Waters, her twin brother Alger D. Waters, and her sister Flora B. Russ. She is the sister of Dora Cantee (John) of Des Moines, Iowa, aunt of David Cartee and Jane Cartee, beloved step-mother of Mary Elliott (Monika Schrag) of El Cerrito, step-grandmother of Stephanie Hulsey (Kevin) of Carmel and Donna Wenger (Scot Rysdale) of Scotts Valley, and great-step-grandmother of Donna's children James, John, and Emma.
There will be a memorial service at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 9 at St. Philip the Apostle Episcopal Church, 5271 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley. Please send any donations in Luna's name to Hospice of Santa Cruz, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 or to the Scotts Valley Senior Center, 370 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Feb. 22, 2014
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"Luna was a special lady. When I worked at Valley Gardens as the golf pro, Luna and I had a special..."
- Jerry Imel
"I consider it a privilege to have known and worked with Luna. She was one special lady giving more than..."
- Nancy Carroll
"Luna was my golf mentor when I took up the game at Valley Gardens. She taught me much about the game and..."
- Rocky Festa
"A real Grand Dame of life and golf. We cannot even attempt your shoes. Godspeed."
"A good friend of my Mother's Bernice Smith R.I.P."
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