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Eleanor Holmes Torguson

August 25, 1929 - September 8, 2017

Eleanor Torguson, 88, passed away in West Covina, California, after a brief, sudden illness. She was born August 25, 1929 to Thomas Hughes and Gertrude (Leathers) Holmes in Los Angeles, where she lived until retiring to Southern Oregon in 1986 with her husband of 52 years, Donald Edwin Torguson. Eleanor moved back to West Covina in 2014.

She received both her Bachelor's (English) and Master's (Education) degrees at the University of California at Los Angeles, and in 1955, became a teacher and administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She was a vice principal for a short time until her love of teaching brought her back to the classroom. Most of her teaching career was spent in Room 107 at Sun Valley Junior High School, where she taught English for 35 years. She taught work experience classes at John Marshall H.S. for two years, and ended her career as coordinator of the First Break program, connecting public and private resources to young people seeking their “first break” in the job market. This program thrived under her guidance, and continues to this day as a model for school-to-work programs.

Eleanor’s passions were gardening, reading, cooking, and shopping. She lovingly tended to her plants and flowers - and when not elbow-deep in mulch - could be found in her recliner reading and watching the birds and squirrels that flocked to her garden. She had a keen interest in history as well. She was a director of the Death Valley ‘49ers, and was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution in Medford, Oregon. Eleanor loved to travel throughout the United States, but she most enjoyed Death Valley, Calif. in November, Alaska’s Inside Passage, and the island of Kauai.

Eleanor is survived by her brother, Col. Richard Holmes (USAF-ret.); her daughter, Kirsten; her son, Michael; her dogs, Lily and Lucy; her squirrel, PV; many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and countless others whose lives she touched with integrity and kindness. She will be interred at Eagle Point National Cemetery, where she will once again be by the side of her beloved husband.

Instead of flowers, please hug your children and read to them... She would have liked that. Remembrances in her name may be made to Samaritan’s Purse.

Eleanor Holmes Torguson