Cecil "Beanie" Preciado
1928 - 2021
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Cecil "Beanie" Preciado

Santa Paula - Santa Paula native Cecil Preciado peacefully passed at home on the evening of March 16 at the age of 92. A popular member of the SPHS Class of '48 he was the living embodiment of his high school's mascot "Joe Cardinal" and was devoted to the betterment of his beloved city and schools in every aspect of his wonderful life.

Born on April 14, 1928 the eighth of eleven children to Leon Frias and Ester Huerta Preciado, Cecil experienced the hardships of America's Great Depression learning and earning the value of hard work but shared in the joy that came from a loving family of 7 sisters and 4 brothers.

As a young boy his fervent American patriotism was shaped by newspaper accounts and newsreels of American servicemen, family and friends engaged in World War II campaigns in Africa, Europe and the Pacific. It intensified when he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War in 1950 following his graduation from Ventura College and was honorably discharged achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant in late 1952.

Only four days after returning home, at a family BBQ at Griffith Park, Cecil met Verna Pinzon a Los Angeles girl who became the love of his life. Dressed in Levi pedal pushers with her radiant red hair held together in curlers and scarf, the always smiling Verna and Cecil began a three-year courtship and were married on September 2nd, 1955. They enjoyed a month long honeymoon driving and hoteling from Carmel to Vancouver and a marriage that lasted 61 years in Santa Paula's cozy environment.

Moving into Uncle Cid Huerta's rental on Whipple Road on the eastern outskirts of town was made easier with Cecil's multitude of family and friends and the birth of their two sons Victor in 1956 and Cid in 1959. In 1963 their young family moved into their present home on Hobbs Circle.

He joined the VC Fire Dept. in 1954 and after graduating with a B.S. degree in Fire Science from USC in 1957 Cecil worked his way to the rank of Fire Suppression Captain heading the Saticoy Fire Station until his retirement in 1979 following a 25-year career at age 50.

As a lifelong volunteer to civic causes and organizations Cecil Preciado's humble approach to working behind the scenes earned him great respect and admiration. He worked tirelessly for the Blanchard Community Library raising funds to keep it financially afloat and served as Trustee on its Board of Directors. He passionately believed that education and knowledge was the key to improving human lives.

His lifelong dedication to his Santa Paula High School alma mater was constant from the moment he entered its beautiful hallways in the fall of 1944. He was a charter member of the Santa Paula Education Foundation which established a financial aid program for needy college bound students and helped build an endowment program that continues to support university dreams today. He was an original member of The SPHS Alumni Association that worked to preserve the historical records, photographs, art work and architecture of its 100+ year campus.

He was instrumental in the organization and passage of multiple community School Bond measures to rehabilitate aging school buildings.

But most of all Cecil Preciado will be remembered for taking pictures and giving them away as presents. In everyday Santa Paula life it was customary to see Cecil wearing his fabled camera vest filled to the brim with rolls of film, snapping pictures of parades, football games, graduation ceremonies, just about any event that brought out crowds of people. Described as "a Santa Paula Icon" one could surmise that Cecil captured a photographic history of Santa Paula and its colorful people. And he always did this with a purposeful smile.

In 1985 he and his cheerful wife were selected "Citizens of the Year' by the S.P. Chamber of Commerce. While he and Verna rode as Grand Marshall's in an open convertible through the Main Street Christmas Parade experiencing the shouts of congratulatory and joyous praise from its citizenry, a recognition of love and support for the only town he lived in came to full circle.

In passing he leaves behind sons Victor of Oahu, Hawaii and Cid (& partner Gil Rodriquez) of Palm Springs, and grandson Cylus of Oahu, Hawaii.

In keeping with his final wishes no funeral services or burial plans are presently planned. Donations to honor Cecil's extraordinary contributions to his community may be made by visiting The Santa Paula Education Foundation (SPEF) webpage at https://www.spedufoundation.org and selecting the "Donate" button or sending a tax deductible check to P.O. Box 805, Santa Paula, CA. 93061.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ventura County Star from Mar. 19 to Mar. 27, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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18 entries
April 5, 2021
Our condolences to his sons and family. We have have been his neighbors for 16 plus years. Cecil and Verna welcomed us with open arms, best neighbors we could ever have. Miss you lots Cecil, we still look over at your front door to see if you're headed out the door to the airport as you so loved doing or perhaps just sitting there catching some much needed sun rays to warm you up.
My husband misses you most as you would come over to the garage and chat a bit about old memories of this beautiful town or just to say hello as you often did.
Bye Cecil "RIP"
Yllen Conrad
March 29, 2021
I did not know Mr. Preciado but I am moved and impressed by his life's story. I have children and grandchildren in Santa Paula and am thankful for the contributions he made to the people of that community. Such a legacy! And even better, a fine role model to others. He has left a very special mark on many lives and I send condolences and heartfelt wishes for comfort and peace to his family. Thank you Beanie for being such a bright spot in the world - Godspeed!
March 23, 2021
So very sad to hear of Beanie’s passing. We are very grateful to have gotten to spend time with him right before COVID hit. Beanie we know you are happy to be reunited with your bride Verna. We will miss you and all your wonderful stories. Peace and Blessings to his sons and family.
Mark & Robin
March 23, 2021
Our sincere condolences to Victor , Cid and Cylus
Thank you for your friendship
Vicki Reyes
March 22, 2021
Rest In Peace Cecil in the arms of our Almighty and surrounded by your loved ones. Please give a big hug to your nephew Bobby Jimenez, my beloved brother-in-law.
Rosie Whipple
March 22, 2021
Cecil was always a welcome sight at Santa Paula High School. He would often come to the student store and leave pictures for students that he had taken of them. He was a true Cardinal fan and will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace Cecil.
Michele Holmes
March 22, 2021
Rudy and Tana Ramirez
March 22, 2021
I remember when Cecil would visit us next door at 240 N. Ojai Street, we used to giggle over his name Cecil. We would call him Beanie and Cecil after the cartoon show. I didn’t realize the name took! He alway had a smile, a joke or funny story. Blessings to the Preciado Family. Cecil’s smile and laughter will always be remembered.
Laura Huerta -Hernandez
March 22, 2021
Condolences to all. RIP Cap.
Gary Smith
March 21, 2021
My condolences to the Preciado family. I was a Reserve Firefighter at Station 15 in Saticoy for several years in the mid 70's. Cecil was a great captain and mentor. It was an honor to work for him. R.I.P. Cecil
Mike Zamore
March 21, 2021
Sid and Vic, My condolences to you and family. Your dad was a very nice man. I remember he volunteered his time at our Tri-Counties Junior Rifle League of which I was a member. It was great fun competing against other rifle club members in Santa Barbara, City of Commerce, Burbank, Point Mugu, and of course our very own Santa Paula. He was my spotter at several of our tournaments. I ran into him at the Chumash Casino shortly after my mom died. He always had a cheerful smile and gave me great joy. Thank you Sid for allowing me to see your dad one last time at your residence just before Christmas. My thoughts and prayers are with you.. God Bless! Bobby Sandoval
March 21, 2021
It was always a great experience sitting next to Cecil at a birthday event held at the Almaraz home. Ruben Preciado, Guillermo Almaraz, and the families of both of these patriarchs would be there to share the memories of Santa Paula and the times past. Cecil would share stories of his military experience and of growing up in Santa Paula, which he loved to relate those days long past. My condolences to the Preciado family and Cecil's many friends and acquaintances.
Peter Drake
March 21, 2021
March 21, 2021
Thinking of you and remembering your warm and loving parents.
The Ekman's
March 21, 2021
Rest In Peace.
Ted and frances Yzaguirre
March 21, 2021
My sincere condolences Cid to you Victor and Cylus during this hard time just know Cecil is on his way to be with his beloved Verna they were both beautiful people RIP
Reddy Vega
March 21, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss, my deepest condolences to you and your family..... God bless you for your service in the Military !!!! RIP CECIL
Vicki L Shure
March 20, 2021
Our spympathy and prayers go out to his sons, Victor and Cid. We'll miss you uncle, but now you will be with the love of your life, Verna. Love, Alex/Betsy and family
Alex R Preciado
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