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Stephanie Pocock Hallaran

1951 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
STEPHANIE POCOCK HALLARAN Shhguy . . . Stephanie Pocock Hallaran died peacefully at home on May 26, 2015 while napping on the sofa next to her husband, Kevin. She passed after a nearly three year struggle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). A lifelong resident of Riverside, she was born Stephanie Ann Rowe on September 1, 1951 to Grace and William Rowe. She was a graduate of St. Catherine's of Alexandria, St. Francis de Sales, RCC, the University of California, Riverside (BS, Anthropology), and California Baptist University (M.S., Counseling Psychology). Over the last several years she had held positions as the Direct Services Coordinator for the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center; Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Volunteer Center of Riverside County; Long-Term Care Ombudsman for the Volunteer Center; and Volunteer Services Manager and Coordinator for the University of California's Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program. She leaves behind her husband Kevin Hallaran, whom she loved truly, madly, and deeply and who loved her back that much, but more; her children, whom she loved fiercely and proudly, along with their partners and children: Meredith Drews (Jason) of Aliso Viejo; Sara Tisdell (Todd) of Castaic; Lesli Sioson (AJ) of San Jose; and Geoffrey Pocock (Lauren) of Riverside; grandchildren, Emma and Spencer Tisdell, and Thomas, Henry, and Grady Drews. Also survived by brother Gregory Rowe of Washington state; sister Barbara McLeod of San Diego; her friend and first husband Andrew Pocock; several nieces and nephews; and countless friends. Stephanie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother William, and her granddaughters Bridget and Elsie Drews. Stephanie will be remembered for her smile--large, warm, genuine, unrestrained, uncensored. It usually preceded her laugh, which was loud, raucous, uninhibited, and frequently punctuated by snorts, followed by more laughter, and more snorts. She loved food--cooking it, eating it, talking about it. She loved Guinness, Mackeson's, and good red wine, all in moderation, unless there was a good reason. She loved to talk--about current events, politics, history, anthropology, psychology, nature, books, and a hundred other topics. And, she would invite conversation with anyone just to hear an opinion besides her own. The Saturday or Sunday editions of the newspaper usually prompted what became known at home as "The Morning Rant"--fifteen minutes of exasperated monologue about some idiot politician, or policy, or celebrity, or environmental debacle, or newspaper editorial . . . pretty much anything in the paper could ignite The Morning Rant--and then it would be on to the crossword. She loved to read, especially the classics, Dickens being her favorite. More recently, she'd picked up Fenimore Cooper again, and had recently finished all of James Joyce's works . . . except Finnegan's Wake, because, as she said, nobody could finish Finnegan's Wake. Some of Stephanie's other loves included nature and being outdoors, dogs (especially Bassets and Goldens), camping with family and friends, bird watching (roadrunners were her favorite), gardening, or just walking around the block. She loved baseball, especially the Dodgers and Vin Scully. She had great fun playing badminton and except for a lack of coordination or any notion of what the racket was for, might have gone pro. Stephanie had eclectic tastes in music--B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Tony Bennett, Vivaldi, K.D. Lang, Louis Armstrong, Randy Newman, Etta James, and Monty Python, to name a few. For 30 years, with the same group of loving friends, she played bunco once a month, seldom winning, but always having fun. Stephanie was one of the 20% of ALS victims whose symptoms first present in the neck and throat. It's called "bulbar onset". Early on it cruelly robbed her of her laugh, her voice, her ability to swallow; then it went on to weaken her hands, arms, and legs and eventually took away the strength to even hold her head up. It stole from her virtually all of the things she loved doing. Throughout the disease's progress, though, she was able to keep one thing of her own--that big, gorgeous, magical smile. And when she could no longer give voice to the love she felt for her family and friends she would instead, touch her eyelid, then her heart, and then point to the loved one. And, always with that smile . . . Pshaw. No services are planned. Instead, Stephanie asked that a Celebration of Her Life take place at Sara's, Todd's and Geoff's soon-to-open Pocock Brewing Company in Santa Clarita. Details will be announced here when they become available. The family asks that in lieu of any flowers, friends might consider donations to the ALS Association (ALS Association, National Office, 1275 K Street NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20005) and/or the Preeclampsia Foundation (Preeclampsia Foundation 6905 North Wickham Road, Suite 302, Melbourne, FL 32940-2025), and that when you think of her, smile.

Published in Press-Enterprise from Aug. 14 to Aug. 16, 2015
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