Zelma Elizabeth Keown Drew, 96, passed away Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. A long-time resident of Atascadero, she was living at Yellow Rose Senior Assisted Living near Creston at the time of her death.
Zelma was born Jan. 2, 1917, in Portland, Ore. One of nine siblings, she was the youngest daughter of Edmund Charles Keown and Lillie May (Pray) Keown. She moved with her family to California as a very young child and lived in many small towns in California’s Central Valley. Zelma often talked of when they lived in Valley Home; her favorite memories of school days were of the years spent there.
The family relocated to Pomona, during Zelma’s high school years. This is where she was living when she met her husband Dale H. Drew. They were married on Feb. 25, 1934, in Pomona. They owned Drew Nurseries in Compton, during World War II and by the end of the war they had four children: Shirley, Dalean, Beverly, and Dale Jr. In 1946, they moved to a 30-acre ranch in Mira Loma, where a fifth child, Charles, was born.
Zelma was a 4-H leader, active in the Riverside County Farm Bureau (a charter member), and also worked outside the home until the children were grown. Zelma and Dale grew many fruits and vegetables on the family farm, and she was busy both selling the produce there and canning and freezing food for the family. The farm produced wonderful butternut squash which was sold in local markets.
Zelma was an accomplished artist in oil and china painting and also excelled at cake decorating and candy making. She enjoyed collecting kewpie dolls, miniature tea sets and collector-edition china plates.
She and her husband retired to Atascadero in the early 1980s and were involved in the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau and the local farmers markets. She continued with her painting and cake decorating as well. Here she was proudest of her begonia garden, her African violets and her Christmas cacti.
Zelma is survived by her daughters, Shirley G. Martin of Atascadero, Dalean H. Harris (Bill) of Sonora and Beverly M. Drew of Colorado Springs, Colo., and her sons Dale H. Drew, Jr. (Alice), of Summerville, Ore., and Charles S. Drew (Vivian) of Tehachapi; eight grandchildren, 10 great-grand children, and several great-great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Dale Sr., her parents, her eight siblings, her son-in-law, David Martin, and two grandsons.
Zelma leaves her family with loving memories of many wonderful family dinners (where everyone was expected to eat all their food, even things like cow tongue), and a role model of self-reliance and determination.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Pine Mountain Cemetery in Atascadero.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo, 2212 Golden Hill Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446.For the complete article see the 10-04-2013 issue.
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