Virgil Zebedee Standerfer Virgil Zebedee Standerfer was born in Mt. Holly Arkansas to Charles and Rebecca Standerfer on September 3, 1931, the youngest of eight children. In the 1940's, Virgil moved with his family to Cameron Creek California where he attended school and met his future wife of 36 years, Ermadean McGill. Virgil had a great love of life and went pursuing his many interests which included cars, flying, motorcycles, radios, and computers. Ermadean said she always knew when 'Zeb' wanted to start something new because he would come home with a gift then causally start talking about what he wanted next. Virgil embraced flying and even built his own plane which he flew for many years. He was someone that friends and other pilots would go to if they needed help; and his youngest daughter, Bette, spent many summers at the airport helping her Dad rebuild engines or make other repairs. During the winter months it was not unusual to find a wing or some other part of a plane in the family home until Ermadean made Virgil put heating in his shop. Virgil was also a great storyteller and loved to entertain people as he told of his different adventures. Be it the time when he was in the Air Force and he served as a currier, he had a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist and was ordered to speak to no one but the person that the case was to be delivered to upon arrival. He would grin and say that was the worst trip because he spent over 12 hours in a plane not knowing where he was going and had spent only enough time on the ground to pass on the briefcase and wait for the plane to refuel. Or he would talk about the summer that he and friends flew to Arkansas to visit relatives and upon leaving one small airport they barely made it over powerlines at the end of the runway. Besides planes, Virgil also loved cars and motorcycles. On one trip to the coast he passed a dune area where those with Dune Buggies and Dirt Bikes were attempting to drive up a hill. Not to be outdone, Virgil turned his VW Bus around and drove it up that same dune hill. He made it to the top with everyone watching in surprise, not the least Ermadean who was in the passenger seat. Two months later he had his own Dune Buggy. In 1980 he built a three wheel motorcycle and rode that for years. He and Ermadean loved to ride up into the Foothills in the summer evenings and after her passing Virgil could be seen riding his 'trike' with his Old English Sheepdog, Winston. They became a familiar sight to many people in and around Visalia and Tulare County. Virgil loved life and believed in making the most of what was given him. He could be a prankster and loved a good joke or planning a surprise birthday party. He had a love for all animals, especially cats, and passed that on to his daughter Bette along with a love for science fiction, flying, reading, fishing, and making life an adventure. He taught her to take risks and follow her own drummer. When she and her friend/partner, Barry Pike, took on a dog boarding kennel, he looked forward to a time when he could also be a part. Virgil left us on September 13, 2012 and is survived by three daughters: Itha and Mary (from his first marriage) and Bette Standerfer, from his marriage to Ermadean. There will be a celebration of his life planned in the future. As Barry said, "Virgil has done so much in his life and I'm sorry I did not get to meet him a few years earlier so I could have gone on some of his adventures. He thought life was to be lived." He will be greatly missed. Arrangements by Miller Memorial Chapel.
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Published in Visalia Times-Delta on Sept. 27, 2012