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o_OToole082714 O’TOOLE, Cormac Slater •It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Cormac Slater O’Toole, who died August 24 at 11:40 am, after a four month battle with a rare form of central nervous system melanoma. Although we are terribly saddened, we have been blessed with Cormac’s love, presence, and influence on our lives during his 12 years with us. Cormac loved loving: his mother Susan, his brother Connor, his father Jim, and his extended family all experienced Cormac’s special bond, one will continue forever. •Cormac was a rare thinker, and continual tinkerer; asking questions and thinking them through to their logical (or illogical!) end was his central hobby in all areas. He was completely at ease discussing any topic with his parents and family, and his wry sense of humor made any conversation joyful. A continual hand raiser at St. Vincent’s Elementary School and an outside the box thinker, he loved science, history, social studies and historical cultures. A regular Petaluma National Little League and Petaluma Youth Soccer League participant, Cormac’s attitude and humor brought smiles to his coaches, and he was extremely proud of being selected as team captain for his PYSL team last year. But Cormac’s two central loves were inventing and the outdoors: whether it was Lego creations, building Fort Redwood at our house, winning the solar car contest at St. Vincent’s, camping at Samuel P. Taylor and Plumas Eureka State Parks, or making an award winning robot for Fundamonium, Cormac’s inquisitive nature continued to amaze. From his diagnosis in late April, we could see Cormac getting stronger physically and emotionally each day as he weathered substantial treatment. •With kayaking at Spring Lake, hiking at Helen Putnam, climbing trees at Samuel P. Taylor, and rock climbing at the gym, Cormac assumed a ‘Take that, Cancer!’ stance that continued to fortify us throughout this trial. As the community rallied around us, our collective prayers of a miracle were manifest in our Make a Wish Foundation trip to Yellowstone. Cormac felt good the whole trip, and we jammed as many experiences as we could: kayaking and fishing at Jenny Lake under the Tetons, Old Faithful under a full moon, elk, bison and grizzly sightings, and Cormac hooking into the biggest trout on the planet at sunset on Yellowstone Lake. It was like God was talking to us. Cormac’s overall condition began to decline last weekend, and he was admitted to the pediatric ICU Tuesday night. He passed peacefully at 11:40 am, surrounded by his loved ones. We look back on his last four months of relatively good health, and our trip to Yellowstone in July, as a gift, and we remain in awe of his strength and courage. Please join us in prayer for Cormac and in the celebration of his life. •Rosary and mass services will be held at St. Vincent’s Church, 35 Liberty Street, in Petaluma. Rosary services will be Thursday, August 28 at 7:00 pm. •Cormac’s Celebration Mass will be Friday, August 29 at 11:00 am. Family assisted by PARENT-SORENSEN MORTUARY & CREMATORY, Petaluma.
o_Scott-Arnold082714 SCOTT-ARNOLD, Nida L. •Passed away at the age of 93 on Monday, August 18, in Santa Barbara after a brief illness. She was born in Crocker, SD on March 27, 1921 to Harry and Fay Scott. She is preceded in death by her parents and her 10 siblings. She is survived by her 3 children, Rebecca L. Clover and husband Steve, Donald W. Lobitz Jr. and wife Carmen, and Linda F. Boyter and husband Robert. She has been blessed with 6 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Throughout her life she always seemed to be able to rise above adversity. She was orphaned at the age of 3 and eventually, at the age of 6, through the grace of God, was taken in by Jesse and Belle Arnold who loved her and raised her as their own. She was the valedictorian of her high school class in Hazel, SD. At 20 years of age she married Donald Lobitz with whom she bore her 3 children.Even in the midst of somewhat troubled times she managed to give her children the love and guidance they needed to not only survive, but to thrive in our sometimes difficult world. For that, they are especially grateful. She returned to school later in life and received her degree in education with a minor in music at the age of 38. She was a dedicated elementary teacher in the Goleta School District for the ensuing 17 years. In her retirement years she lived in her seaside condominium where she could hear the waves breaking on the shore, her lifelong dream. She enjoyed relating and interacting with her friends and family, especially the laughter. She pursued her interests in genealogy, dancing, downhill skiing, theater and the symphony. She was 88 years old when she last skied and, with the help and loving attention of her daughter, Linda, attended plays and symphonies even in her last days. At the end, we all knew she had to go, but it was so sad to see her leave. We will miss her dearly. A memorial get together is planned in Santa Barbara sometime in September. Details will be forthcoming. An additional memorial get together is planned in Watertown in the early May when and where her ashes will be interred. Details will be forthcoming for that as well. Donations in her memory can be made to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund (, (781) 237-3800).
o_Skeen082714 SKEEN, Mona May 9, 1920 - August 21, 2014 •Mona Etury Skeen was born and raised in Santa Barbara. The daughter of Spanish Basque immigrants from Pamplona, Spain, she grew up on El Capitan ranch. She met her husband of 64 years, William D. Skeen, the former Assistant Chief of the Santa Barbara Fire Dept. while playing golf, a hobby they enjoyed all their lives. •The Skeen family shared a love of nature. Mammoth Lakes, Lake Crowley and Twin Lakes were favorite destinations for fishing and camping. The other summer pastime was water skiing on lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio. •Mona is survived by her son William F. Skeen and spouse Ricardo Pelaez, her niece Cynthia McMahon and husband Tim, her nephew Howard Marion and his wife Cyndi and their daughter Kati Rouleau and her husband Scott and their daughter Maycee Rae Rouleau. She is also survived by nieces Christine Tidd, Sarah Tidd, and their families, the family of her late nephew, William Tidd, and cousins Betty Skeen, Gary Skeen, Dennis Morelock, Kathy Newton, and their families. She is survived by the family of her late step-daughter, Betty Duhachek. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Center for Successful Aging, A memorial service will take place at noon on Saturday, September 6th at Mulligans Caf , 3500 McCaw Ave, Santa Barbara. RSVP (required) to Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.