Evelyn was truly a beautiful woman, of great strength and energy, of deep love and respect, and was an inspiration to everyone she touched. She was a one-of-a-kind lady and the best mom, wife, and grandmother.
Evelyn Marie Stiltz of Three Rivers passed away peacefully in her home, in her favorite chair, on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. She was 95.
A celebration of Evelyn’s life will be followed by a lunch reception on Friday, February 21, at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony Retreat Center, 43816 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers.
Evelyn was born September 2, 1924, to Manuel Borba and Pansy Blossom Cahoon in Porterville, California.
Evelyn was raised on a South Fork ranch in Three Rivers. Her family were early Three Rivers settlers. She was related to several well-known Three Rivers pioneers: the Blossoms, the Cahoons, the Cloughs, the Maxons, and the Busbys.
Evelyn attended grammar school in Three Rivers, Springville, and Hanford. She graduated
from Hanford High School.
She married William Grindle, and the couple settled in Selma, Calif., where they owned and operated Blocklite Company. They had two children, James and Kathleen.
Evelyn and William divorced, and Evelyn moved back to Three Rivers with her two children. She later married the love of her life, Irving Lee Stiltz. Together, they had three children, Nancy, Kirk, and Julie.
Lee worked for the National Park Service. Except for a short time at Lassen Volcanic National Park, most of their married life was spent working and raising their five children in and around Sequoia National Park — at Lodgepole, Ash Mountain, and Three Rivers.
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In her younger years, Evelyn held several jobs in Three Rivers. She worked at Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers Market, Noisy Water Café, The Gateway Restaurant, and Three Rivers Golf Course. For awhile, Evelyn and a best friend ran a catering service, which is when she became an accomplished cake decorator.
Evelyn and Lee and their children moved from Sequoia to their home on Salt Creek Drive, which is where Evelyn lived for the rest of her life. After Lee retired, they traveled all over the United States in their fifth-wheel trailer with their beloved dog Heidi.
Throughout her life, Evelyn had a passion for art. She accomplished many styles of painting, including oils, pastels and watercolors, however, she is best known for her porcelain creations.
Evelyn traveled to Russia with her porcelain club and that became one of her favorite memories. Her hand-painted gifts to her children, grandchildren, and friends are their most cherished mementos.
Evelyn’s other hobbies included playing golf, crocheting, playing cards, and solving crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She loved watching old movies on TV, reading, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She was especially excited when she got to spend time with her great-great-grandsons.
Evelyn was a member of the Three Rivers Lady Lions, The Federation of Woman’s Social Club, and a lifetime and honorary member of the Three Rivers Woman’s Club. She was also a member of the California Association of Porcelain Painters, Sierra Traditional Jazz Club, PTA, and a 4H leader.
Evelyn spent her later years enjoying her friends and family. She delighted in watching the wild animals and birds in her yard and knew most of them by name.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Irving Lee Stiltz; her brother, Melvin Borba; sister Muriel Kenwood; son James Earl Grindle of Colorado; and her great-grandson, Richard Tyler Deitz of Woodlake.
She is survived by four children, Kathleen Bohl and husband Kevin of Three Rivers, Nancy Crawford and husband Paul of Woodlake, Kirk Stiltz of Three Rivers, and Julie Olson and husband David of Sonora. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren, Craig, Chad, Barbie, Heidi, Carie, Ben, Nick, Katie, Will, April, Brooks, Scott, and Mindy; 15 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Evelyn leaves a wonderful legacy of life and a beautiful example of how to live life her way. Our family was so blessed to share her life for 95 years. She will be terribly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.