Frank Amestoy, Jr.
1915 - 2006
Frank Amestoy lived a long and happy life to the wonderful age of 90. He has family and friends that span almost a century. Frank Amestoy, Jr. was born in 1915, to Francisco and Anselma Amestoy, both Basque Immigrants.
Frank grew up at the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield, which his parents managed. The Amestoy family later purchased the Cesmont Hotel, which they renamed the Amestoy Hotel.
Frank married his wife, Marie in 1941, while serving active duty in World War II. The two of them were a comedy stage act together for their 61 years of marriage. His wife passed away in 2002. Frank is best known in Bakersfield for founding the popular Bakersfield bar and café, Amestoy's On The Hill, with his wife, Marie, in 1948. He worked there with his wife for over 50 years until his son and daughter-in-law, Frank Amestoy III
and June Amestoy took over full-time. Frank Amestoy III preceded his father in death by three months. Louise Maitia, Frank's sister, also preceded her brother in death.
Frank, known to his grandchildren as Itachi, had a quick sense of humor and a good wit. He loved to entertain patrons at his bar, as well as, family members with his familiar jokes and stories, many of them centering on life at the Basque sheep camps, as well as, life at the Noriega and Amestoy Hotels. His pranks, good humor, love of flashlights and collection of tools will never be forgotten.
He is survived by his adoring family, daughter, Avon Wonderly (Bill); grandchildren, Frank Amestoy IV (Kari), Buffi Amestoy, Dr. Sally Nalesnik (Dr.Jeffrey), Chandler Wonderly, and Anthony (Angela) Wonderly; sister, Josephine Lambert, and his five great-grandchildren.
Frank was proud to be named to the Bakersfield College Alumni Hall of Fame. He was also a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Basque Club. Frank and Marie volunteered for years and years helping the Kern County Sheriffs Posse for the Special Children's Day at the Kern County Fair.
Dear Daddy: May perpetual light shine upon you and may you rest in peace. Our lives will never be the same without you. Itachi, we love you!
A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 30, 2006, in the Chapel of the Hopson-Anspach Family Mortuary, located at 620 Oregon St.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at
9:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 31, 2006, at St. Francis Catholic Church. Interment immediately following at Union Cemetery. Monsignor Ralph Belluomini and Father Craig Harrison will officiate.
Memorials may be made in honor of Frank to the "Frank & Marie Amestoy Memorial Scholarship" c/o Bakersfield College Alumni – Bakersfield College Foundation, 1801 Panorama Dr., Bakersfield, CA 93305.
Hopson-Anspach Family Mortuary
Published in Bakersfield Californian on May 28, 2006.