Dec. 29, 1926 — Dec. 4, 2012
A former longtime resident of Porterville, Lou was born in Wills Point, Texas, on Dec. 29, 1926, to Barnett and Elva Owen, and she passed away peacefully in the company of her devoted husband and two of her daughters in Placerville, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2012, a few weeks shy of her 86th birthday and her 66th wedding anniversary. She and her husband Dom have been residents of El Dorado County since June of 2004.
After the Dust Bowl finally defeated her father’s farming in 1934, the Owens moved from Texas to join family in Tulare County. Lou attended Springville School and Lindsay High School, where she met the love of her life, Dom Spallina, in cooking class in 1942. They got married on New Year’s Eve 1946 after Dom was discharged from the Air Force.
Lou and Dom became members of the Porterville Church of the Nazarene in the early 60s. They enjoyed many years of friendship and fellowship with the members of the Lamplighter Sunday School class. Every year Lou and Dom hosted a New Year’s Eve/Anniversary party with this large group of wonderful lifelong friends. Four children and a busy family life took up most of Lou’s time and talents, but she also applied her considerable organization and leadership skills in local PTA, community and church groups. In 1970, she organized the first crisis help-line in Porterville and she served as president of several PTAs and the PTA Council, Brownie troop leader, and was the Head Greeter and Food Closet steward at the Nazarene church. She worked for several years as a bookkeeper in her brother-in-law’s floral shop and nursery, then as a special education aide at Bartlett School and at Monache High School.
Lou had much to give to her community, but her real gifts were the times she spent with family: she had five sisters and one brother in close proximity and extended family picnics and holiday celebrations were always in the works. She excelled at planning birthday parties, excursions to the beach and the Sierras, making vacations memorable, and just being the best Mom ever. She and Dom traveled extensively, visiting 47 of the 50 states, cruising to various exotic locales, and traveling in Europe. Their favorite vacation was spending time in Pismo Beach with their twin granddaughters in their travel trailer.
Lou is survived by her loving husband, Dom; her youngest sister, Carrie Barraza of Wenatchee, Wash.; children, Candis Spallina of Camino, Tracy Spallina (Jeff) of Dundas, Ontario, Canada, and Donna Coppin (Doug) of Fresno; four wonderful grandchildren, Jennifer Sandoval (Ariel), Kathaleen Pok (An), Loren Spallina and Ryan Spallina; and four beautiful great-grandchildren. Many of her nieces and nephews have mentioned that Auntie Lou was their favorite. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Dorothy, Daphine, Letha and Maxine; her brother, Raymond; and her beloved son, Fred, who passed away in 2002.
Services will be held in Porterville. Whitehurst Peters Loyd Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements. Lou’s family would like to express its sincere and heartfelt appreciation to the very special nurses and CNAs in Gold Country’s Skilled Nursing Community for their expert and loving care of Lou during her five and one-half years in their care. They made such a difference in her later life. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Snowline Hospice of El Dorado County, the Alzheimer’s Association or the charity of one’s choice.