Nadine Dooley Stayton passed away peacefully in her home of 67 years surrounded by her loving family and friends on April 2, 2016. She was 10 weeks shy of her 102nd birthday and was one of Whittier's longest tenured residents.
Nadine was born in Taft, California in 1914 and moved with her parents Fannie Lou Christian and Lars Helmer Sundberg to Whittier in the early 1920's with her younger sister Maxine. She attended Old Bailey School and graduated from Whittier High School in 1929 at the age of 15.
She ultimately went to business school and received a degree in accounting.
She met the love of her life Alfred M. Dooley of Long Beach at a dance and they were married in 1937. During the war years they moved to Oakland where she worked in accounting for the War Department and was in charge of the payroll for over 5,000 employees.
After the war, Nadine and Alfred settled in Whittier and built a home in Friendly Hills. Her love of tropical and rare plants took her all around Southern California, where she purchased exotic specimens for her park-like garden. She was active in the Eastern Star, the Rebekah Lodge and the Friendly Hills Women's Club, especially enjoying the Bridge and Garden sections of the Club.
Alfred passed away in 1968 and Nadine remained a widow for 21 years before marrying Burnice Stayton, also from Whittier in 1989. The two spent their years together traveling and gardening. Mr. Stayton passed away in 2003.
Nadine continued to be an avid gardener well into her late 90's and enjoyed sharing her knowledge, garden cuttings and fruit harvests with friends and passersby. She had an unbelievable knowledge of the plant kingdom, half of which is seemingly present on her property.
"Nana", as her grandchildren called her, will be remembered as a tremendously intelligent, generous, loving and caring person. She was very proud of her of her home and garden, but especially her family. It was her grandchildren and great grandchildren that brought her the greatest joy and she would look forward to their frequent visits and calls.
She was known for her extraordinary memory, and her ability to remember minute details about people she interacted with, if only once. It was this ability to listen to others that also made Nadine a great friend and neighbor. She was always there for others, and would bend over backwards to help someone or share what was hers. She was truly a special person who lived a full and happy life, and will be greatly missed.
Nadine Dooley Stayton, is survived by her daughter, Mardine Sibley and son-in-law Peter Sibley of Kentfield, Ca, grandson Colin Sibley and his wife Julia of Pacific Palisades, granddaughter Brett Sibley Groneman and her husband Graham of Muir Beach, CA, and her two great-grandchildren, Luke & Mary Sibley. A celebration of Nadine's long life was held for family and friends at the Stayton residence.