Uda Jean Douglass nee Hackney was born on October 18, 1935, in Hallowell, Kansas, and she passed away peacefully in Lancaster, California on July 10, 2020 at the age of 84. She was the fourth of five children born to Stella Addie Noma (Potter) and John T. Hackney. When she was two years old her family left Kansas for El Monte, California, where she spent most of her growing up years, although her family did spend time in New Mexico, including her junior year of high school in Albuquerque. At the age of 15 she met Lawrence "Doug" Douglass, a young navy recruit from Kansas who had sat next to her cousin, Bill Swearingen, on the train to California. Little did she know at the time that this would be a fateful encounter. Three years later, on January 3, 1953, she and Doug married and began a life together that would last 61 years and result in four children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Uda continued to move around a lot during her married life. She started off as a navy wife in a quonset hut on a base in San Diego, and after the navy she and Doug moved to Pico Rivera and El Monte, where their first child was born. They did not stop there, though. Always looking to make the best life possible for the family, Uda and Doug bought a home in Buena Park in 1957, and it was while living there that they experienced the births of their second son and their first daughter. In 1962 they purchased a home in Orange, and three years after that their family was completed with the birth of another daughter. After that they moved to Westminster and Fountain Valley, and in 1979 she went with her husband to the Bay Area. At first they lived in San Ramon, then they went to Valley Springs, where Doug retired and they started a new chapter of their lives. Finally, Doug designed a home for her in Orcutt, which she moved into less than three months after his passing.
Family was of paramount importance to Uda. Although she held paying positions from time to time, she chose to devote herself full-time to the care of her husband and children. This was not always easy since Doug worked really long hours and frequently worked out of town for long stretches. No matter the circumstances, she always made sure that her children were taken care of. She attended every game and school event, and enthusiastically participated in their activities, such as being a Cub Scout den mother or a room Mom for school. Everyone in her family knew how much Uda loved them and the sacrifices she was willing to make to help them be happy and successful.
Uda's faith was a critical element in her life. She didn't just go to church; she lived out her faith through her active involvement in the ministries of the church. She sang in the choir at almost every church she attended, and even became the choir director at Valley Springs United Methodist Church, a position which she filled for 18 years. She also served on many different church committees and was a youth counselor. Most importantly, she imparted her faith to her children, giving them an anchor to hold onto throughout their own lives. Uda's faith got her through some very difficult times and made her a much stronger woman than she gave herself credit for. Her faith got her through tragedies such as the death of her first daughter and the passing of her husband right before they were to move in to the home he had designed for them. She never thought she would be able to move into that house, but in faith she did so and made a great new life for herself. As was her habit, she made her presence known at her new church in Santa Maria by becoming an important, active member, and she made lots of new friends along the way.
Uda was preceded in death by her daughter, Wendy Lee, and her husband, Lawrence Ward "Doug" Douglass. She is survived by her children Larry (Jan), Greg, and Melinda (Jeff), grandchildren Amy (Jason), Matthew (Tatiana), Andrew, Cristen, Bethany (Jesse), and Stephanie, as well as great-grandchildren Gavin, Cali, Jesse, Samantha, and Benjamin.
Funeral Services will be conducted at Douglass and Zook Funeral and Cremation Services, 600 E. Foothill Blvd, Monrovia, at 10:00 on Friday, July 24. A viewing will be held at the same location thirty minutes before the beginning of the funeral services. A graveside committal ceremony will follow at Oakdale Memorial Park, 1401 S. Grand Ave., Glendora.
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