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Helen Casanova

Helen Casanova

September 16, 2020

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Casanova Helen.jpg

Helen was born on the de la Cuesta ranch In the Santa Ynez Valley on November 15th, 1928, to Frank and Elizabeth Gonzalez. She graduated from Santa Ynez Valley Union High School in 1947 and then attended beauty college in Santa Barbara. After completion, Helen worked at Minga's Beauty Shop in Solvang. Soon after, she met her husband Raymond (Casey) Casanova, who was working at the Solvang Inn Restaurant. They married in 1954 and moved to Pico Rivera, California. They had two children, Lola (better know as Tootsie) and David. In 2008, they moved back to Santa Ynez.

Some of Helen's best memories were swimming in the river which was close by, and summers up in the mountains with her siblings taking a packed lunch to their father who worked at the quicksilver mine.

As a teenager, Helen had many adventures, from flying an airplane, to boating out to the Channel Islands.

Helen was proud of her heritage as a Tribal member of Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians and enjoyed meeting up with her sister Connie Vanlerberghe for a nice dinner and some gambling for the evening on a regular basis.

Helen, along with having an amazing life, had an incredible heart, so kind, and generous -always giving and helping others, especially to those less fortunate.

Helen was very active in the PTA when her children were young and also in her church as a catechist.

But Helen also really enjoyed having fun. Helen loved bowling, traveling to Las Vegas, she cherished her pets, loved playing the slot machines and was always very lucky at the casinos. Helen would say very simply, "When I give to others it brings me luck."

Helen cared for both her parents in their later years, aided by her sister and brother, she took care of them with compassion and respect.

The most remarkable qualities about Helen as she aged were gratitude and her humility, she never made a big distinction between family and friends, family were friends and friends were family.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth in 1997, her father, Frank, in 2009, her husband Raymond, in 2014, her son David, in 2016, and her brother Arnold Gonzalez, in 2004.

Helen is survived by her daughter Lola, son in law, George Davalos, her sister Connie Vanlerberghe, her brother Raymond Gonzalez and wife Martha, and many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

A Funeral Mass was held at Old Mission Santa Ines with interment following at Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard.

Loper Funeral Chapel, Directors

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