Launa Soske Kitros
Launa Soske Kitros, a 45-year-resident of Santa Barbara, Calif. passed away peacefully in Orem, Utah on Jan. 15, 2018. She was 77 years old. Launa (Loni), was born Sept. 5, 1940 in Los Angeles, Calif. to James and Loretta Bird Soske and lived on the family ranch in Chino, Calif. until she was six-years-old. Both parents preceded her in death.
Launa is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Leigh (Kitros) Hedrick; son-in-law Brian C. Hedrick; and granddaughters Megan Elizabeth Hedrick and Lauren Leigh Hedrick of Alpine, Utah. She is also survived by her special cousins: Carol Lechner (Rich) and children Scott Lechner (Carina) and Kelly Worton (Johnny); Robert Jr. Jenison (Cynthia); Amanda Jenison, Jo Soske (Karen); Dave Stolze; Julie Soske (Bill); Jessica Soske; and Michael Soske (Sandy).
In 1946, the family moved to Oxnard, Calif. where her father began working as a civilian at the Oxnard Air Force Base. Launa attended Oxnard schools and graduated from the original Oxnard High School in 1958. She attended and graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and went on to San Jose State University where she received her teaching credential. She did her graduate work at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Launa married Michael A. Kitros in 1965 in Santa Barbara and they had one daughter. Launa had a 35-year-long career as a teacher in Santa Barbara teaching history at both Santa Barbara and La Colina Junior High Schools. Launa was a former member of Las Aletas Auxiliary of the Assistance League and a member of the Santa Barbara Genealogy Society. In 1998, she retired from teaching, and in 2005 Launa moved to Utah where she enjoyed many years of being a wonderful and supportive mother and grandmother.
Launa loved education, the arts, travel, history, chocolate mousse and genealogy. Launa spent more than 50 years of her life researching, gathering and sharing her family history. She called genealogy her labor of love. Although Launa was able to teach hundreds of others how to research and write their own family history, she was the storyteller of our tribe—the one called to do so. Launa’s legacy will live on through the family genealogy she leaves behind; that her family will always know from where they come, so we can continue to tell the stories.
A memorial will be held at the Santa Barbara Cemetery chapel at 1 p.m. on March 3, 2018. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, where a special scholarship will be given out in Launa’s name. Visit sbscholarship.org/donate/ to donate or send donations to Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara P.O. Box 3620 Santa Barbara, CA 93130 in honor of Launa Soske Kitros.