Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Jerry Clinton Toles

Jerry Clinton Toles, 94, of Reseda, Calif., passed away peacefully in his sleep June 28, 2013.

Born in the "cow town" of Meeker, Colo., on September 12, 1918, to Myrtle Kyle and Jesse James Toles, one of his earliest memories was of cattle stampeding through town and onto the sidewalks. When Jerry was 14 his family moved to Death Valley Junction, where he soon learned to drive on a Model T.

Jerry was married to Darlene Blevins from 1954 until her death in 1984. He was lucky enough to have another great love at age 65, when he met and married Betty Lou Malcolm. They shared a joyful life together in Santa Clarita for almost 20 years.

Jerry worked for Raymond C. Jones Exterminators in the San Fernando Valley during the 1960s and '70s.

He is survived by brother Robert Toles; daughters Sandra Steimel (Hank), Nancy Alpert (Van) and Betsy Castorena (Steven) and stepdaughter Loretta Mann and her daughter Brittany; daughter and granddaughters of his heart Jeanne, Suzanne and Jhenn; grandchildren Edward, Clinton and Stacy Steimel and Colin and Caitlin Alpert; and great-grandchildren Erica, Nicholas, Adrian, Brittany, Annessa, Cody and Arien.

He is predeceased by brothers Harold and Herbert and recently predeceased by niece Joan Turner.

Among those who will remember him with smiles are Kathy, Renee, Edna, his many nieces and nephews, and his Associated Square Dancers family.

Loving music and dancing, Jerry learned to square dance in 1946 at the Brewster Grange Hall on the Columbia River. He would later hold several offices, both locally and nationally, in his 40+ years with "A Square D."

He served in the Army Engineers on Okinawa during WWII. After the war, he resumed working as a fruit packer, and later worked in such interesting settings as Death Valley's Furnace Creek Inn. Jerry worked odd jobs at the resort, including once holding a sun umbrella over actress Jean Arthur during the filming of the movie, "The Bride Came C.O.D."

Jerry's volunteer efforts included decorating floats for the Rose Parade and driving for the Cancer Society. He was recognized by the Red Cross for donating blood regularly through the years.

In addition to his family, friends and square dancing, his great joys were travel, hunting and fishing, especially in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. He often said that nature was his cathedral. He and Betty Lou traveled to Alaska and China and attended the annual reunions of Betty Lou's classmates in Colorado.

Jerry had a smile and a friendly word for everyone and he accepted serious illness with his usual good grace and humor. The loving care of Sonia and the team from Roze Room Hospice insured his comfort as he "went on his way, rejoicing."

He believed the purpose of life was to be honest and do good, Everyone who knew and loved him agrees he more than surpassed that standard.

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