Vincent Ross Pickett
1913 - 2015
Vincent Ross Pickett, died in his sleep October 12, 2015 at Vista Del Monte Retirement Home in Santa Barbara, CA. He lived almost 103 years. Until the last few months he was alert, his phenomenal memory intact and he was pain free and happy.
He was born in Los Angeles at the home of his grandparents on January 30, 1913. He lost both his parents to TB when he was a young boy. His only sibling, a beloved sister Dorothy, died of TB when he was a teen. He was raised by his Aunt Josephine and her husband Ralph Wilcox. Ralph built their Spanish style home in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles and passed on his building skills to Vince.
Vince graduated from Hollywood High where he was in gymnastics, track and the school band. He graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Economics. He met Helen Shindel, a graduate of Mt. St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, at a concert. Both were music lovers. He played the sax and clarinet and she played the piano. They were both great dancers. They were married on August 30, 1937 at St. Basil’s Church on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.
Vince started his own building business in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles in the mid 1930’s. His new business was interrupted by World War II. During the war, Vince worked in the military aircraft industry at Bendix Aviation as a draftsman. After the war, he resumed his career as a building contractor. He was an artistic master of custom modern homes which were ahead of their time in their simplicity, beauty and utility.
A daughter Mary Lynn was born in 1938. A son Joseph France was born in 1948. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Hermosa Beach. Attacks of asthma and hay fever from the pollens of the valley trees forced the move. There he continued to build in Hermosa, Manhattan, and Redondo beaches and Palos Verdes. Many of the people he built homes for remained life-long friends.
He loved being with his family. He enjoyed coming to Mary Lynn’s and and her husband Mike’s (Mallen) where he enjoyed Mike’s roses and the quail which roamed the yard. He also looked forward to lunches at his favorite Santa Barbara restaurants with Mary Lynn. He loved to travel to Joe’s and his wife Anne-Marie’s house in Tucson, Arizona where he was pampered with Anne-Marie’s cooking. He and Joe both shared a love of sports and cars.
Grandchildren include: Michele (Todd Pappas) Mallen, Kevin (Yuko Okumura) Mallen, Pamela (Bill) Poehler, David (Patti) Mallen, Thomas Pickett, Cambria Pickett (AJ McLean), and Sara (Katie Horlander) Pickett). Great-grandchildren Malin Pappas, Alexia Pappas, Lily Poehler, Kiara Mallen and Simone McLean were very dear to him. He was looking forward to the arrival of Simone’s new brother or sister in the spring.
Vincent and Helen both enjoyed travel around the U.S. and Canada and made many memorable trips to Spain and Portugal. Vince loved to BBQ steaks and both loved to entertain. He was known for his love of great food and drink.
After Helen’s death, Vince moved to Santa Barbara from Hermosa Beach to be closer to Mary Lynn and Joe and their families. In his nineties, he moved to Vista del Monte Retirement home. He received excellent care at Vista del Monte and was one of their favorite residents.
They, his family and friends who knew him will miss this very gentle man.
As he wished, there will be a private family party in his honor in late November.
Donations in his memory can be made to The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Development Office, P.O.Box 245013, Tucson, AZ 85724 or The Fact Foundation, which supports members of the Vista Del Monte community, at firstname.lastname@example.org.