It is with heavy hearts but joyous exaltation that we announce the passing of our father, Milton C. Guggia, Sr., who passed away on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at the age of 94, following a lengthy illness. He has peacefully ascended to his eternal home and is in the loving arms of the Lord.
Milton was born on December 16, 1924 in San Luis Obispo, CA to Peter and Domenica Guggia and was raised on the family dairy farm. He attended Bonita School and Santa Maria High School. In 1943 he enlisted in the US Army and proudly served his country at the 38th Parallel during the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1947.
When he returned from Korea he once again began to work at the dairy along side his father and brother Vernon. In 1949 he married the love of his life, Evelyn Reed and started his family. They were married for 62 years until Evelyn's passing in 2012. He was in many bowling leagues at the old Santa Maria Bowl where he and his teammates won several tournaments and trophies. He was also very active in youth sports coaching various Little League and Middle League baseball teams. Later he joined the Santa Maria Country Club where he enjoyed many a golf game with his numerous golfing buddies. He was a fan of the LA Dodgers, the Detroit Tigers but mostly anything to do with USC. He attended the 1972 College World Series in which USC won the National Championship with his son playing second base. When they won he was beyond proud. In 1979 he and Vernon sold Guggia Dairy and retired. After so many years of hard work milking cows twice a day, seven days a week and being a young 55 he was too active to sit still. He began working at the Jetty Restaurant side by side with his son as the charbroiler cook. He stayed several years but due to his amazing green thumb and gardening expertise he started taking care of the exteriors of his son's growing chain of restaurants. He won several awards for their beauty. He maintained beautifully designed landscapes at his home as well, once again winning several Santa Maria Valley Beautiful awards.
During his time on South Scott Drive he admired his next door neighbor's Christmas light displays and decided that he wanted to do the same type of display and the competition was on. The house was well known for his extraordinary talent giving many people happiness and joy during the Christmas season. He continued this when he and Evelyn moved to Foxenwoods, again drawing huge crowds who enjoyed his legendary displays.
Milton was known for his sense of style and was always the best dressed man at the golf course. He had a wonderful sense of humor, was funny beyond belief, and came up with the most creative nicknames for his children and grandchildren. He was mostly greatly admired for his unconditional love for his family. He made it easy to be proud of him and smile when you were with him, and always had a big hug for everyone around him.
Milton took great pride in all of this grandchildren's endeavors. Be it football, basketball, tennis, softball, baseball or lacrosse he showed great enthusiasm at all events, and rarely missed a game. His enthusiasm was so great that several officials of these games would warn him to pipe down!
He enjoyed traveling with his son Milt and daughter in law Angel to Hawaii, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas just to name a few places. He also enjoyed a road trip with his son Gary and daughter in law Chris to Texas to visit Evelyn's childhood home and traveled to several other southern states. On that trip they also went to Mineral Wells, TX to the the Army base where Milton did his basic training, and visited the barracks where he stayed. His daughter Vickie, while employed with TWA was able to take Milton and Evelyn to Europe several times. On one of these trips he was able to visit the Guggia country of origin, visiting St. Antonino, Ticino, Switzerland. After Evelyn's passing he attended many USC football games with his daughter Traci. With her he also visited the Reagan Ranch, also known as the Western Whitehouse, which he enjoyed very much, and took a tour of the Reagan Library.
Milton is survived by his son Milt, Jr. (Angel), son Gary (Chris), daughter Vickie Galvin (Kevin) and his daughter Traci. He is also survived by grandchildren Nick Guggia (Tasha), Damion Guggia (Megan), Justine Jokela (Jared), Missy Ortega (Jason), Krista Guggia, Kacie Guggia, Matthew Galvin and Laura Galvin. Surviving great grandchildren are Devin Guggia, Aaron Guggia, Derrick Guggia, Ryder Guggia, Bryson Guggia, Ella Ortega, Aubree Jokela, Tanner Jokela and Laela Ntenda. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Milton was preceded in death by his wife Evelyn who passed away in 2012. He was also preceded by his parents, Peter and Domenica Guggia, his Father and Mother in Law, Fent and Minnie Reed, and was the last survivor of his six siblings Lucio, Lawrence and Vernon Guggia, Martha Vanetti, Bette Townsend and Lydia Casey. He was also preceded in death by numerous nephews and brothers and sisters in law.
Pallbearers will be Nick Guggia, Damion Guggia, Matthew Galvin, Eddie Navarro, Javier Quevado-Vega, Jason Ortega, Jared Jokela and Justin Bullock.
A special thank you is extended to Nicki Snyder who lovingly helped care for Dad in his final months.
There will be a visitation and rosary at 6:00 pm Monday, November 4, 2019 in the chapel of Dudley Hoffman Mortuary. A Mass will be held Tuesday November 5, 2019 at 11:00 am at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church followed by burial at the Santa Maria Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Milton's name to the March of Dimes, or a charity of your choice.