Angela Catharine Ross Pearson October 10, 1938 – November 6, 2023
Celebration of Life
November 25, 2023
After a courageous battle with cancer, Angela Catharine Ross Pearson passed away on Nov. 6 at the age of 85, surrounded by loved ones who will continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest like she did.
Angela was born in New South Wales, Australia. She spent most of her childhood on her grandparent's farm. They were carefree days, riding horses, milking cows, feeding chickens and lying on the grass making dream pictures in clouds. She loved life on the farm.
Her ancestors on her father's side were Venetians on the ill-fated Marquis De Rays expedition from Northern Italy to the new paradise aboard the ship "India." They arrived in New Guinea, an inhospitable area where many of the original passengers died. Appealing to Sir Henry Parkes for help and unable to continue the journey on the "India," Parkes sent the "James Patterson" to take the survivors to Sydney were they finally settled in an area near Lismore called "Cella Venezia" later known as New Italy. There is now a museum located at her great grandfather's inn and Angela is enshrined.
On her mother's side, her great grandfather was a sergeant at arms on one of the first ships to transport convicts to Tasmania.
Angela attended boarding school and then went on to receive her Nursing Certificate at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) in 1960. She immigrated to Canada and worked as an Orthodontic Tech for three years in Toronto.
Her life journey continued with extensive travels across the United States and Canada, but she ultimately returned to nursing, becoming a part of pioneering moments in healthcare, including the first heart valve transplant and the introduction of pacemakers. Later, she rose the call to serve in Vietnam as part of the Australia's Department of Defense's medical team from 1967 to 1968, during the Tet offensive.
Following her Vietnam service, Angela explored Southeast Asia before rejoining the Coronary Care unit in Sydney. However, the hospital's daily routine and the staggering number of heart disease-related deaths proved too much to bear. She transitioned to the Qantas Airways Medical Center, where she escorted patients between countries, offering her the opportunity to travel the globe, including on the maiden 747 flight to Singapore. It was in Singapore that she met her beloved husband, Gary, of 51 years. They spent two years in Singapore before returning to Los Angeles, where they raised two children, Rosalie and Charlie.
After the children were grown, Angela managed five helicopter companies at Van Nuys airport and retired to their home, "Wild Coyote Ranch" in Tehachapi.
In her leisure hours, Angela indulged in her passions, which included golfing, solving crossword puzzles and displaying a profound affection for her animals. Additionally, she had a genuine love for fictional literature and authored a book recounting her remarkable Vietnam experiences.
Angela's sincere and loving nature touched the hearts of everyone she met. Her Australian spirit shone through in her warmth and hospitality, making her the best wife, mom and grandma anyone could ask for.
As we say goodbye, let us remember the wonderful woman she was, the lives she touched and the love she shared. Her memory will live forever in our hearts, a testament to her strength, kindness and beautiful person she was. Rest in peace, dear Angela; you'll always be cherished and missed.
Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. is handling the arrangements.
Services will be held at Bakersfield National Cemetery, Arvin, on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. followed by a celebration of life Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Van Zyl's home, 17812 Raymer Street, Northridge, CA 91325.