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May 2010

An Obituary for My Mother


(Originally published on Opinions for Nothing.)

Priscilla Jewell died Tuesday, May 18, 2010 suddenly and tragically in a car accident in Camarillo, California.

She was born Priscilla Elaine Buchanan on March 28, 1957 to Stanley and Pauline Buchanan in Oak Harbor, Washington. Priscilla moved with her parents and her four older sisters to Point Mugu in 1959 and to Camarillo in 1962, to a brand new subdivision on Edgemont Drive, which was then surrounded by lima bean fields. She remembered walking home with her sisters one day and losing a shoe in a mud puddle in one of those fields, which is now the Camarillo Community Center on Carmen Drive.

Priscilla graduated from Adolpho Camarillo High School a year early in 1974. She married her high school sweetheart, Joseph Lino LeBlanc, Jr. and gave birth to her first daughter, Michelle, in 1974 in Colorado. Priscilla returned to California briefly and then moved with her husband and her baby to Las Vegas, Nevada, where her husband was stationed with the United States Air Force. In 1977, she gave birth to her second daughter, Marie. Priscilla returned to Camarillo with her two daughters in 1980.

In 1988, Priscilla met Roger Jewell at Harley’s Camarillo Bowl, where he was the manager. They were in high school together and had friends in common then and when they became reacquainted so many years later. Roger and Priscilla fell in love soon after they started dating. After a long engagement, Priscilla married the love of her life in 1997.

There is nothing Priscilla loved more than spending time with her family. She enjoyed the large family gatherings held at her childhood home on Edgemont Drive and later, at her own house, playing games at the dining room table, and watching her grandchildren and nieces and nephews play in the pool. She cherished the quiet moments, too; time spent shopping with her daughters, playing with her grandchildren, chatting with her sisters, visiting with her step-son Chris, and her step-daughter Jennifer.

In the thirty years of her banking career, all of it spent with local banks, Priscilla worked with so many coworkers and customers throughout Ventura County. Earlier this year, Priscilla was promoted to Sr. Vice President at California Oaks State Bank, in Thousand Oaks. Recently, she studied diligently for, and was proud of earning, the designation of Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager. Priscilla was a conscientious, meticulous employee who never left a question unanswered or a detail undocumented.

Priscilla was loved dearly by her family, friends, and coworkers. She was the glue that held her family together and her loss leaves a hole that can never be filled. She was smart, loving, generous, kind, and thoughtful. She would have gladly given her life for her children and her grandchildren, and they are heartbroken to have seen it taken from her. Priscilla was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a grandmother, an aunt, a cousin, and a friend. This beautiful woman will be remembered and missed be everyone who knew her.

Priscilla Jewell is survived by her husband, Roger Jewell; her two daughters, Michelle LeBlanc Magoffin and Marie LeBlanc Molina; her step-children, Christopher Jewell and Jennifer Colegrove; her four sisters, Patricia Robinson, Peggy Buchanan, Penny White, and Pamela Geisler; her seven grandchildren, Kenna, Olivia, Molly, Liam, Curtis, Zoe, and Evan; and her aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and sons-in-law. She is preceded in death by her father, Stanley Buchanan, and her mother, Pauline Buchanan, as well as her grandparents.

A funeral mass will be held for Priscilla on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 10 AM at St. Mary Magdalen Church on Las Posas Road in Camarillo. All are welcome to attend the mass. Her ashes will be interred a few days later in a private ceremony at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park. Arrangements are being made through Griffin Family Mortuary in Camarillo.