Luanne Hebner Perez (1937-2020)

Luanne Hebner Perez (1937-2020)

Throughout her life, Luanne Hebner Perez looked for beauty in the world. On September 26th, 2020, she set out on her last big adventure, from the comfort of her home in Fillmore, with family by her side. Despite her dementia, through the love and care of her son Jeffrey and caregivers Bernice Mendez, Lisa Lopez, Nancy Kozar, Kelly Gomez and Liz Moten, she spent her last years where she wanted to be; in the light of the Southern California sun, uplifting those around her with her joyful smile and lightness of spirit.
She was born March 7th, 1937 to Tony and Anne Hebner in Hollywood. Her passion to travel started on family drives every Sunday. Luanne and her younger sister Judith would wake early and place their tiny, three legged stools in the back seat, in anticipation of the sights they would see. Driving from their home in Studio City, they’d roll through the Southern California countryside and city streets, with the sisters singing the entire trip. After graduating from North Hollywood High, Luanne attended UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis where she graduated with a degree in Home Economics and a teaching credential. There she met Bruce Ellison and the two started their married life together in 1960.
She taught for two years before the arrival of their first son Steven Bruce Ellison in 1964 followed by Jeffrey Brian Ellison in 1966 and Theodore Scott Ellison three years later. A transfer took the family to Trenton, Michigan and Luanne saw an opportunity to share the joy of travel with her three boys. Towing a trailer, the family would take summer vacations every year on the back roads of the Midwest and East Coast. Luanne enjoyed quilting and embroidery and began to seriously paint in the 1970's and was thrilled to discover she could do it. With the dissolution of her marriage she looked west for opportunity and found the California of her memory in the lush rows of green and mountains of gold that surrounded Fillmore.
In 1980, she was hired to teach Home Economics at Fillmore Junior High, and through the rest of her life would be recognized around town as "you taught me to cook and sew in Junior High." During this time, she married the second love of her life, John Perez, a card-carrying teamster who happily transitioned to household cook and domestic engineer. In Fillmore, she lived the life she dreamt of; she planted a garden, redesigned her house – always moving toward her vision of beauty. She shared her love of nature and art with her boys and hand-in-hand with John, found her greatest fulfillment on the road. During each school break and vacation, they thrived on trips she envisioned, across America and throughout Europe. Once home, she picked up her brushes and found her sense of composition and color through paintings from her travels and scenes of Fillmore and the Santa Clara River Valley.
Throughout her life she practiced The Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated. She was active in organizations that shared her interests: AAUW and PEO - the education, advancement and empowerment of women; Questers and The Embroiderers Guild - the preservation and appreciation of history and craft traditions; she loved to gather with friends in The Sewing Club; and as a lifelong church-goer she was a member of the Bardsdale Methodist Church. Together with other local artists, she started the Artists Guild of Fillmore to encourage interest in original work created by local artists. She is survived by her sister, boys and was known as ‘Gran’ to her grandchildren, Dominique, Thomas, Maximillian and Spencer. A celebration of her life will take place on her birthday, March 7th, 2021 at the Bardsdale Methodist Church.