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Special Louis Stories

Do you have a special or funny story you’d like to share about Louis?  Here’s your chance to tell us below!

12 Responses

  1. Jude Castillo by David V.
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    Below is the full “Thank You” card written by Jude Castillo on March 28, 2006. Seems that Louis applied the Heimlich maneuver to Jude’s wife who was choking:

    “Dear Louis, Words can’t begin to express my heartfelt appreciation for you literally saving Daphane’s life the other night in the Maravilla Dining Room. I don’t know what we’d have done had you not been there. I understand you underwent a similar procedure yourself recently, so I know how you feel. Again, my most sincere thanks for your conscientious, thoughtful, and immediate action on Daphne’s behalf. (She’d have written this herself but she has early-onset Alzheimer’s which makes reading and writing extremely difficult for her.)

    With all my best wishes, Jude Castillo.”

  2. Jeff Tyler
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    Anyone that knows Louis knew how frugal he was. When Pam and I started our weekly alternating dinners my business was doing well so Pam and I took them to nice places and I told them to order wine and dessert which they were eager to do. On their week to buy we went to discount restaurants where wine and dessert was avoided. 😉 I am thankfull we had those times together. We all kept a sense of humor about it.

  3. Jeff Tyler
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    Another funny thing I remember was about a week after Erik had his second heart transplant, Louis took Mom, Eric, Pam, my sons Kenny and Keith and I to the Santa Barbara Zoo in their New Lincoln. As we pulled up to the gate behind a new Buick Tornado Louis said “Shelley get some money!” She immediately stretched Her legs and reached into her pockets as the Lincoln lurched forward and into the back of the Toronado. Louis could not figure out what was happening when we all realized that, while sitting in the middle of the front seat my Mom had smashed on the gas!
    We all knew to not say a word that might escalate the situation. They exchanged insurance, we enjoyed the zoo and no one said a word. Back at the car Erik said, “Dad I am really proud how you handled that”. We all had a laugh. Erik, my departed Half Brother whom they had between them, had quite an affect on Louis’s demeanor for the better. Knowing Erik faced a limited life and the way Erik lived it to the fullest showed, I think, caused Louis to be more forgiving and not sweat the small stuff so much.

  4. David Villanueva
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    My father, Louis Villanueva, had a spark, desire, and a passion for what he did. He was precise, focused, and often times intense. When my father wanted to make a point, there was no misunderstanding. There were quiet moments as well. When he saw opportunity, he ran for it, regardless of how far it seemed. Obstacles to Louis were something to go around, through, or jump over. These individual traits are rare, and when you know someone has them, its worthy of admiration and discussion.

    Now after my father has gone on, examining his life’s path, with its remarkable accomplishments, holds greater meaning. There are many stories about his accomplishments. But with all his successes, Louis was no stranger to painful setbacks. A tough divorce forced him to spend less time with his children from his first marriage. He lost Erik, his only child with Shelley, his new wife. No doubt, he, Mr. Villanueva, experienced less than equal treatment at times during the early years in his white collar job. Yet, through all the tough times, I never heard him complain or make an excuse for something that did not go his way.

    There are many things about my father, I wish I knew more. My time with him became far too limited after my parents went their separate ways, and many hundreds of miles separated us. At age 11, he took me for a private walk on the beach in Carpenteria California, “the world’s safest beach”, unless…

    I knew something was different about that walk. When he asked me if I’d like to live with him, my shaky, halting answer must have been painful. I loved mom too! My exact words, I do not remember, but their meaning was understood. Years later, I’m not sure who was stung worse. That boy on the beach did not realize the significance of his response, or understand how life might be different, with another answer. It was too fast, too on the spot. Did I really have to choose? Could the answer have been delayed? Was there a better compromise? These are things best understood by an adult mind, and even then…

    Yesterday makes us appreciate what can be envisioned today. If I caused Carpinteria Beach to be less than safe, dad, I am very sorry. You are loved very, very much for asking.

  5. Kelley
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    When my grandma Shelley and Louis lived in Santa Barbara, I would come visit them a weekend per month. They loved to dance, and every time I came out they took me to the Elks Lodge for dinner and dancing.
    When I was 19 or so, I was sitting at the table with all my grandparents friends as we watched the couples dance.
    My jaw dropped as I saw my grandpa Louis in a seductive squat sort of pose, and my grandmother over his thigh. My grandmother’s friend chuckled and said “betcha didn’t know you’re grandparents could still do that, did ya?!”
    This memory is forever burned into my brain Hahahahaha
    All joking aside, they were an amazing and beautiful couple. My time spend with them, it was clear to me that their love was strong. They found the one whom their soul loved, ❤️❤️

  6. Joel Tyler
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    My favorite Louis story is this…
    Louis was a do it yourself kind or guy. One of his greatest projects was installing a sprinkler system in our new home/yard in Bakersfield. He hated spending money, so he would wear worn out slacks, a torn shirt, and a frayed hat when doing yard work. Mom tried to get rid of that stuff, but he insisted that it was still good.
    So one day he is working in the yard and a new neighbor pulled her car up and complemented him on his good work. She then asked him how much he charged. Realizing that she believed that he was “hired help” he said, “Oh I don’t charge anything, I just sleep with the lady of the house”.

  7. Joel Tyler
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    Louis was my first trumpet teacher. He had played as a child. So when he and Mom gave me my first 100 year old pawn shop rusty trumpet, Louis would sit with me and show me all he knew. His sound was bad, mine was worse. But I kept working with him until I was sounding better than he did.
    At that point he and mom paid for years of private lessons for me. One day I dropped my trumpet on the mouthpiece, and because of the corrosion, it got permanently stuck in the horn. Louis tried to pull it out with all of his best tools (yes, the ones traced in black marker on the garage walls). He finally pulled so hard, that the main pipe split in 2.
    The good part is that he bought me an excellent new trumpet. When that trumpet aged, he bought me an even better trumpet. My folks sent me to many music camps and even paid my tuition on my senior year of college.
    I am so pleased that I was able to see Louis before he passed, and explain to him all that I am now doing in the Army band. And I am very happy that Jeff was able to show Louis my recent award winning Army band video. I hope Louis realized, that I am one more of his investments that has bore good fruit.

  8. Keith Tyler
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    Louis was always a very good person to me. At a young age I used to love watching him and Shelley dance, it would make them so happy to go out and dance the night away, one of the last times I saw them together they were dancing at a restaurant along the river and I think that is the way I will remember him, dancing and happy with Shelley.

  9. Kenny Tyler
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    I always loved time with Grandpa Lou in his earnest and conservative ways, he was always keen on accomplishments. I feel like Grandma Shelly embodied knowledge and we could always count on receiving a great book on our birthday. I always loved the feeling of enrinchment when visiting them. It wasn’t enrichment from money, it was the intellectual enrichment and curiosity struck by their amazing stories of travel and dance. They lived their dreams together, just as they spent some of their last days together, happy. It really has been a blessing the great care they both received here. Pam and Dad have been amazing for them. I’ll never forget how adorably in love they were for the last few months Louis was with Grandma.
    Rest in Peace Grandpa Lou and thank you for everything.

  10. Cecilia Tyler
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    I remember the first time I met Louis and Shelley, they took Erik and I to a Chinese restaurant in Malibu. This was back in the Fall of 1991. I don’t remember our conversations but I do remember I really enjoyed talking with them. They both were fun to talk with (so was Erik, and we know where that came from – his parents). Immediately after this lunch, Shelley did some “research” and discovered that Louis’s sister who was living in Huntington, Indiana, had been a friend of my mother’s (who was also living in Indiana). Apparently, my mom’s friendship with Louis’s sister dated back to 1969 in El Paso, Texas. ~Coincidentally.~
    I feel so very fortunate to have gotten to know all three of them (Louis, Shelley and Erik). There were many times when we all got together; and every time, Louis and Shelley were a lot of fun to be around, not only for their conversation but also because they were an enjoyable couple to watch, and they seemed to appreciate every moment of life with one another – which is very admirable.
    My memories of Louis go as far back to their life in Huntington Beach, and smelling Shelley’s fresh-baked bread (because she had a new bread maker). Louis said Shelley had been making bread a lot, cinnamon, raisin, (and a few others).
    [I realize this is to be about Louis, but one cannot talk about Louis without talking about Shelley].
    Also, visiting them in Santa Barbara was nice, too. There was a weekend when they invited me to stay in their home while they went on vacation. They had been gone all week, so by the time I arrived there on Friday night, I was unable to open the door because the mail had stacked up blocking the door (mail slot was on the door). I had never seen so much mail! It was a quiet weekend since I was there alone, so I decided to sort out his mail into 4 piles: Magazines, Junk, Mail, and Miscellaneous. Louis was thrilled when he returned home and discovered his piles! His animation made me laugh. Although, I was there alone that weekend, it was still very special for me because by that time they had already felt like family to me, so I felt their wonderful presence in the house.
    The sweet memories of Louis, I have from Idaho are of he dancing with his special girl, Shelley, down by the river. I loved watching them dance together.

    Dear Louis, There are many, many reasons to appreciate you, and one of those being during the trip you made to Indiana (when you visited your sister at Victory Noll in Huntington, Indiana). On this trip, you took the time to visit my mom, and my siblings. My family told me they were thrilled to have met you and Shelley. They thought you were both wonderful!
    I so appreciate the opportunity to have been able to visit you in December 2014. I will always remember your response when I came into your room to say goodbye (as we were returning to Hawaii). I intentionally leaned down to kiss you on the forehead and told you I loved you. You said, “Alrighty, then.” ☺ It was very sweet.
    Thank you, Louis, for the wonderful memories you have given Joel and I, and our children (Kelley, Arianna, Chloe, Jordan, Justin, Zak and Zoe) as well as my mom, my brothers, and my sisters. You are a blessing to so many people in your life!
    Love, Ceci

  11. Joel Tyler
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    My favorite final memories of louis are at his care facility. Louis looked over at my mom and said “Isn’t she beautiful? She looks good for her age, really good.” And he stared at her adoringly and pet her golden hair that he so loved. Later in private he told me “When Shelly and I get better, we are moving back into the house, and then moving back home to California.” This from an 87 year old man running on less than 1/3 power from his heart and weighing not more that 100 pounds. And while his wife… well, I want that kind of HOPE and determination for my life. The good news is that his dream will come true, when my mom passes and they are both “home” in heaven.

  12. Joel Tyler
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    I also love Louis’s favorite Navy story. He was on his way off the ship for some well deserved “R&R” after working in “the Bowels of the ship”. Louis liked to wear his hat off to the side to look “cool”. But as he passed by the guard shack, an MP said “Hey sailor, square away your hat!” Louis told the MP to “stick it up your XXX” and got himself thrown into “the brig” for the evening.

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