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Henri Pellissier

1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Henri Pellissier Obituary

Henri Fidel Pellissier, a longtime Whittier, CA citizen and community leader, died on July 4, 2017 at the University Retirement Community in Davis. He was 89 years old.
Born February 25, 1928 to Leon and Gladys Pellissier, in Upland, CA., Henri spent his boyhood on the Pellissier family ranch in Chino, moving to Whittier to attend Whittier High School, graduating in 1946. With plans to work in the family business, Pellissier Dairy Farms, he attended college at the UC Berkeley and Davis campuses, studied Dairy Science and Economics, and graduated with a BS in Agriculture in 1951. During this time he and Dianne Johnson met and they were married on June 24, 1951, in her hometown of Palo Alto, CA. Having joined ROTC while at UC, he then served in the Korean War, seeing combat as a 1st lieutenant in the Army. Dianne, at home with her parents, gave birth to twins.
Returning from Korea in 1952, the young family settled back in Whittier where Henri worked for Pellissier Dairy Farms. Five more children followed in the next 10 years.
At the Dairy, Henri started as a milkman, followed by 10 years as manager of operations and the 400 cow herd. After the Dairy sold in 1970, he spent 15 years overseeing the Pellissier properties, including the California Country Club in the City of Industry.
As the children grew up, Henri developed a sincere commitment to community service, beginning with St. Mary's Parents Club and then PTA president of Whittier High School. He was active in Rotary Club of Whittier, serving as President, and had 39 years of perfect attendance. He was member and a Commander of his American Legion Post for 30+ years, as well as 30+ years with the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce.
Henri's leadership and integrity led to his election to the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees (1973-1985)and he served on the LA County Committee for School District Reorganization (1981-1988). With his extensive business experience he also served on LAFCO, the Local Agency Formation Commission for LA County. When he retired from LAFCO in 2014, after 34 years of distinguished and committed service, he was highly commended for his dedication to the public. Henri also had a keen interest in the water issues of the San Gabriel Basin and spent decades involved with Watermaster, assisting with long term water management actions.
Henri especially enjoyed spending time with family, camping & fishing, and visiting life long friends on the West Coast. His tremendous generosity, fairness, honesty, and acute sense of responsibility were a blessing to family and non-family in his life.
In 2014, sensing health issues, Henri and Dianne decided to leave their beloved Whittier, and relocate to URC in Davis. He had often told his friends, "Move before you have to", and he decided to take his own advice. His greatest concern was always for Dianne, that she be safe, secure, and close to family.
Henri died on the Fourth of July, a date of death shared with three other patriots: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. He is survived by his wife of 66 yrs, Dianne, and seven children: Dede, Hank, Robert, Elise, Rene, Pierre, and Chrissie, plus 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The Pellissier Family extends their gratitude to all the staff and residents at URC for their attentiveness and loving care of Henri.
Published in Whittier Daily News on July 16, 2017
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