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Memorial to be held for longtime resident

first_imgWHITTIER – A memorial Mass for Virginia O’Neil Erler, a longtime resident of Whittier, will be celebrated at noon Saturday at St. Bruno’s Catholic Church, 15740 E. Citrustree Road. She died Oct. 23 in Sugar Land, Texas, where she had lived for the past year. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Stanleigh Erler, and her brother, William T. O’Neil of La Ca ada Flintridge. Erler had been active in the Assistant League of Whittier, P.E.O., an organizing member of Whittier’s Meals on Wheels and a member of Doctors’ Wives of Whittier, and chaired many of their social events. She was born Virginia Mary O’Neil on Aug. 15, 1923, in Ames, Iowa, where her father and uncle owned and operated O’Neil Dairy Co. She graduated from Ames High School and Iowa State University with a degree in dietetics. She interned at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Erler moved to Southern California to be near her brother, Bill, and his family, and found a position at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Van Nuys. There she met her husband-to-be on the first day he reported for his internship in internal medicine wearing his Army Medical Corps officers uniform. After their marriage, the Erlers continued to work in the VA system, transferring to the Long Beach VA hospital. During that period, Virginia did fashion modeling and taught an adult education course. Next, they invested in a private medical practice in Whittier, which Dr. Erler continued for 30 years, serving on the staffs of Murphy Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. In Whittier, Virginia became thoroughly involved in homemaking, motherhood, continuing on with her dietician interests, and pursuing and sharing her antique porclain collection, her passions for art, classical music, travel, and animals and nature. A succession of poodles were her beloved companions through her life. True to her wishes, Virginia had a funeral Oct. 29 in the chapel of St. Cecilia’s parish in Ames, Iowa, followed by interment at Ames Municipal Cemetery, next to her husband and her parents, Clem and Mary Leahy O’Neil. Her daughter, Maura, noted in remarks after the funeral that the Halloween season, with pumpkins and beautiful fall colors, were perfect for their mother. Besides Maura O’Neil Johnson of Sugar Land, Texas, Virginia Erler is survived by her daughter Maryleigh Fuller of San Diego, her sister Frances O’Neil Sajbel of Wisconsin, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. The family has requested memorial contributions to Baylor College of Medicine, 6550 Fannin Fleet #1801, Houston, Texas. Inscribe in the memo line on the check “To ADMDC.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more