Howard Williams, a 3rd generation Californian, was born in Santa Ana in 1916 and grew up in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. He lived for a while on a chicken ranch and spent time traveling with his parents as his father operated a backhoe and worked on building the Pacific Coast Highway.
Virginia Riedel, was born in Los Angeles in 1917. Her parents were first generation Americans who had moved from Kentucky to Los Angeles. Her grandmother, uncle and several aunts lived in the house next door, so, although she was an only child, she had plenty of company and attention.
Howard and Virginia met at McCarty Memorial Christian Church in Los Angeles in 1937 where they both attended. They were married on June 1, 1939 at the McCarty Church in L.A. They lived in the area for a couple of years and then moved to Orange County.
Howard worked as an electrician and, later, an electrical inspector for Orange County. Virginia stayed at home and raised their four children, Elliott, Elaine, Donna, and Lori. She then worked as a school secretary for the Tustin Unified School District.
The two retired in 1975 and moved to Santa Maria in 1980. Both of them have been active in the Santa Maria community, including volunteering at the library, Chamber of Commerce, Genspan and the School system. They have traveled the world and enjoy taking cruises. Now, they spend the summers in Santa Maria and the winter months in Arizona near their son and oldest daughter.
Howard has written a number of reminiscent articles which have been published in “Senior Magazine” and the two of them made a guest appearance on “Super Seniors”, a PBS show that ran in the San Diego area earlier this year.