Lydia P. Feffer

November 14th, 1927July 5th, 2015

 

Lydia Frances Parrott Feffer passed away peacefully at Balfour Retirement Community in Louisville, Colorado on July 5, 2015, with her son, Martin, present.

            Lydia was born in Bell, California on November 14, 1927, to Major Maxwell and Berniece Moats Parrott, while en route to California as they were relocating from Iowa. They lived in Ventura, California until Lydia was six-years-old, when the family moved to the Huntington Park and South Gate area of Los Angeles.

            Lydia had a life-long passion for working with horses, first fostered by visits to her grandparents’ ranch in Yucaipa, California. Her grandfather encouraged her interest in riding his horse Smokey out in the countryside. While attending South Gate High School, she worked weekends at the ranch of her first mentor, Mrs. McElhenny, learning all she could about horsemanship. Lydia also worked briefly at a munitions factory in Los Angeles during that time, near the end of WWII, and then attended the University of California at Davis, graduating with an Associate degree in animal husbandry in 1948.

            While at Davis, Lydia met Joe K. Feffer and they were married on August 22, 1948. Daughter Leighan was born in 1950, followed by a son Martin in 1954, and another daughter, Katha, in 1957. Joe developed his career as a broker in the cattle business over the years, with Lydia’s support, while also conducting her own business training horses and riding students for show, at the family’s long-term residence in Brawley, California. Her students, which included her own children, became top performers in show rings in California and Arizona.

            Lydia was instrumental in creating a horse-show culture in the Imperial Valley, for young people and adults, and there are generations of students who call her mentor. The dusty, after-school instruction ring and the day of the show were renowned for their immersion experience, imparting life lessons that extended far beyond the riding ring. Show judges often recognized her students by their grounding in the fundamentals and respect for the art of equestrian competition.

            After her children graduated from high school, Lydia phased out of training and completed a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands, California and pursued study in accounting, to assist in the operation of a cattle feedlot that her husband Joe owned and managed.

            In the 1980’s, Joe was contracted to build and operate a feedlot and dairy operation in the African country of Mali and Lydia accompanied him, doing bookkeeping work for USAID in the capital city of Bamako. Joe later transferred to a similar project in Senegal and they eventually returned to the U.S. in 1992, settling in Dewey, Arizona in 1993, where Joe passed away in 2010.

            In 2012, Lydia moved to the Boulder, Colorado area, where her son Martin lives, in order to be more closely assisted with her later years. They lived together and she also lived in long-term care, where she ultimately died peacefully at Balfour Retirement Community.

            Lydia is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Bill and Barbie Parrott, daughter Leighan Seybert, of Brawley, son Marty Feffer, daughter and son-in-law Katha and Don Cato, grandchildren Audrey and Carson Seybert, Robin Feffer, Victoria Cato, Jessica Cato Zachos, and four great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her sister, Marcia Ruth Lugo, son-in-law Clark Seybert, and her husband. Memorial donations may be made to Clark Seybert Memorial BUHS Athletic Scholarship, P.O. Box 61; Brawley, Calif. 92227, and Horses with H.E.A.R.T., P.O. Box 2427; Chino Valley, Ariz. 86323.

            Lydia’s remains will be interred in the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Ariz. alongside the remains of her husband, Joe. Friends and caregivers are invited to a Remembrance gathering on Wednesday, July 22, at Admiral Arleigh Burke Park in Boulder, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.

Services

            Lydia’s remains will be interred in the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Ariz. alongside the remains of her husband, Joe. Friends and caregivers are invited to a Remembrance gathering on Wednesday, July 22, at Admiral Arleigh Burke Park in Boulder, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.

Memorial donations may be made to Clark Seybert Memorial BUHS Athletic Scholarship, P.O. Box 61; Brawley, Calif. 92227, and Horses with H.E.A.R.T., P.O. Box 2427; Chino Valley, Ariz. 86323.

Cemetery

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Condolences

Lydia (and Joe) were very good friends of my parents, Leo and Jean Srite in Imperial Valley. I remember Lydia's sense of humor and one who excelled in the art of being a gracious host. I will be showing this to my 93 year old Mom today. I know we will have a good time remembering our friend!