Lowrey, Rebecca Benicia

Birth Name Lowrey, Rebecca Benicia
Gender female
Age at Death 92 years, 8 months, 30 days


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1918-08-09 Benicia, Solano, California, USA Birth of Lowrey, Rebecca Benicia  
Death 2011-05-08 Coeur D'Alene, Kootenai, Idaho, USA Death of Lowrey, Rebecca  
Event Note

Great-Grandma Duncan-Woolliscroft passed away at Kootenai Medical
Center in Coeur D'Alene, Kootenai Co., Idaho. She lived at Post
Falls, Idaho which is about 4 miles from Coeur D'Alene. Graveside
services will be held Friday, May 20th at 2:00 p.m. at the Oakhurst


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Lowrey, John Turner1889-12-111969-01-22
Mother Vance, Augusta Amanda1894-07-291955-11-17
    Brother     Lowrey, Deward Archie 1913-01-22 1988-04-13
    Brother     Lowrey, John Merle 1916-10-16 1943-08-08
         Lowrey, Rebecca Benicia 1918-08-09 2011-05-08


Family of Duncan, Henry Paul and Lowrey, Rebecca Benicia

Married Husband Duncan, Henry Paul ( * 1909-04-20 + 1972-11-20 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1935-04-18 Virginia City, Storey, Nevada, USA Marriage of Duncan, Henry and Rebecca  
Name Birth Date Death Date
Duncan, David Henry1936-04-211990-05-06
Duncan, Merrilyn Benicia1937-10-131943-09-19
Duncan, Alan1951-09-142018-11-26

Family of Woolliscroft, William Duncan and Lowrey, Rebecca Benicia

Married Husband Woolliscroft, William Duncan ( * 1911-04-30 + 1983-07-04 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1956-09-02 Clark, Nevada, USA Marriage of Woolliscroft, William and Lowrey, Rebecca  
Name Birth Date Death Date
[Living], [Living]



Grandpa George W. Lowrey owned a store in Victorville, California. Grandpa George ran the store and Grandma Celia was in bed. Rebecca remembers her Grandmother was always in bed from arthritis. She had a bar she could pull herself up with to sit up in bed.

Rebecca remembers when she would visit, she & her parents would live in the back of the store. She said she wasn't very old at the time. She remembers Grandpa George had no sight in his left eye. Evidently, he was shot by a gun in a gun accident when he was a young boy and lost his sight. Grandma Celia was alright and worked in the store at first until she could no longer because of the arthritis when she became bedridden. Rebecca always remembered that Uncle Howard would say, " Watch your weight, or you'll be like Grandma. So, Rebecca thinks Grandma Celia was heavy weight.

Uncle Howard & Rebecca were just about the same age, but Howard was just alittle bit older, so as kids, they would go up onto the hills and slid down the hill in garbage can lids from the store. The store was on the corner on the last street in the town. Later, after they moved from Victorville to Mentone, San Bernardino Co., the story goes that Grandma Celia was sitting in her rocking chair when lighting struck through the door and scooted her across the room in her rocking chair. Rebecca remembers that Grandpa & Grandma Lowrey were both gone by the 1940's. - Memories of Rebecca Lowrey Wooliscroft, from Arlene Teller Duncan


After the divorce between Grandma Vance Lowrey & John Turner Lowrey, Deward and Merle lived with their father in Riverside while Rebecca lived with her mother, “Gussie” in Escondido.  The reason for the divorce according to Rebecca’s mother was, “he was lazy”.  Her mother was working in the fields in Benicia, California when Rebecca was born, returning back to the field shortly after and later she worked in the ship yards during World War II.  She was a riveter during the war.  Rebecca said her father was not abusive; her mother just became tried of working all the time.

John’s 2nd marriage was to Aries Bessinger.  They lived in Mentone out of Redlands.  They had 4 children.  Rebecca doesn’t remember much about John & Aries children, but they were nice kids.  She remembers that George was the oldest and Margaret was the first to die. The other two were Bill & Dorothy.  Dorothy married a man by the name of

After John & Grandma Vance divorced, Aunt Lucy, Aunt Morgan, Aunt Elizabeth and Grandma Vance, along with Uncle Buster all worked in the packing house in Escondido packing oranges.  Rebecca said she also worked in the packing house in her early 20’s. - From the memories of Rebecca Lowrey Wooliscroft from Arlene Teller Duncan


Hank & Rebecca were married in Mexicali, Mexico, right on the border between Yuma, Arizona & Mexico.  When I asked if they received a Marriage Certificate because of getting married in Mexico, she said yes.  Rebecca was 16 years of age at the time she & Hank married. She said her mother; Gussie went with them when they married.
Rebecca’s sister, Bette Jean was 15 years of age with her mother’s consent and Uncle Bob Baber was 21.  They were married in Virginia City, Nevada.

Right after the war in the 1940’s, land was cheap in the San Joaquin Valley of California.  Hank & Rebecca went to the valley to visit friends, the Wilkerson’s, and he told them about the land sales.  He wanted to show them this particular property for sale.  She said they just kinda glanced at it, sent the money and bought it; 80 acres for $220.00.  There was one house on the land, called the main house. There were no partitions in the house, no electricity, and no lights. At the time they bought the land, they were living in San Diego, Rebecca was working at the packing house and they were raising Herford cows at a friend’s house.  Rebecca said she took all the Herford’s to Delhi and started the ranch.  She said she was milking 16 cows at the beginning.  She pumped water and milked all the cows until Hank came up.  Hank had stayed in San Diego for about a year because he could make more money there and he had a free house to live in.  While Rebecca was on the ranch alone, she hired a man to help her build fences to keep the cows in.  Bette, Rebecca’s younger sister came to live with her when Bette was 7 or 8 years old to watch David & Tootie while Rebecca did the milking for about a year; 16
cows at first she said.  Hank finally came to Delhi when the milking and ranching became too much for her & she became ill with a kidney infection.

Once Hank arrived, they put in a water well, so now she didn’t have to pump water any longer.  Then they built the milk barn, a hay barn and shed for the tractors & equipment.  Later they bought another 48 acres and the whole ranch became known as “Duncan Acres”.  After Gussie and Ossie were married, they lived in Laguna Beach at the time, they moved up to Delhi.  Rebecca explained that there was this shop in Delhi up for sale. They bought the shop and moved it up on the hill on the 80 acres.  They called it Grandma’s House.  It burnt
down during the late 1950’s.- From the memories of Rebecca Lowrey Wooliscroft from Arlene Teller Duncan


During the Japanese war, Grandma Vance & Rebecca were packing oranges in Lindsey, California when it came over the radio that we were at war with Japan.  They immediately left and returned to the ranch. Rebecca was on the “Watch Towers” for 1 or 2 years watching for any Japanese spy planes that might fly over the skies of California.  It was while she was on duty in a “Watch Tower”, David, Little Tootie, and a cousin went swimming in a small canal they had swam in numerous times before.  Little Tootie stepped into a hole and went under. David was standing on the side of the bank, but because he didn’t know how to swim, he throw her an inner tube.  All he could remember
was her little hand reaching up for the inner tube, but she couldn’t hold on.  The cousin ran to get help.  Hank was on the tractor in the field.  He drove “that” tractor all the way down to the swimming hole.  When he picked little Tootie up, the water was only up to his knees, but little Tootie had drowned.  That was in September of 1943. Hank carried her all the way home. David never got over the death of his little sister. When they had the funeral, so many rose flowers were at her grave site. All the days we were married, David would never go into a church, and he never wanted me to plant any roses. He always said, “Roses have thorns on them”. Years later when I looked into his bible his Grandmother Vance had given him, there was only one passage in John underlined in red pencil, “Why, Oh, Lord, why do I have to suffer so long”. - Arlene Rose Teller


Over the years, “Duncan Acres” became one of the well known ranches in the area.  Late in the 40’s & early 50’s, Hank bought an airplane, put in an air strip and belong to the Turlock Flying Club.  They eventually put in a swimming pool that stretched all the way across the front of the house and David became a really strong swimmer, going all the way across that pool in about 2 or 3 strokes.  They put in a milker’s house next to the milking barn and drove a Lincoln Continental.  They enjoyed the friendship of many neighbors and would
host huge barbeques at their place.

Rebecca believes they were there on the ranch for about 30 years.  In the early 50’s Hank & Rebecca adopted a little blond-headed boy by the name of Alan.  They were trying to hold their married together at the time. However, Hank & Rebecca did divorce in the mid 50’s, with Hank signing the ranch over to Rebecca and went on with his life. Later he married Edna Eklund from Hilmar, California.  Before the marriage to Edna, he bought 7 acres in Hilmar and built a wonderful small rancho called “El Rancho Chico”.  As you drove into an enclosed yard, the main house was on the West side, a small studio house where Grandpa Highpocket’s lived was on the East side, on the North side, circled around was his garage & barbeque/patio area.  On the South, adjacent to Grandpa Highpocket’s house, there was a Woo-tel for the kid’s pony named patches with tack room & all.  Across the back of the house, there was pasture land where he raised goats.  Once or twice a year, he would open up the whole garage and barbeque patio area once again and invite all the neighbors over for a huge goat barbeque.  A lot of visiting and music was always in the air. - From the memories of Rebecca Lowrey Woolliscroft, from Arlene Teller Duncan


A few years after Hank & Rebecca’s divorce, Rebecca married Hank’s cousin, William D. Woolliscroft.  He was the son of Grandpa Highpocket’s sister, Rena Duncan Woolliscroft.  Bill Woolliscroft worked for the road department for the County of San Diego for years. They had one son, Gary Woolliscroft, who married a Japanese girl from Japan while Gary was in Japan teaching Japanese business men English. He continues to live in Japan & they have one little girl. - Arlene Teller Duncan


Rebecca Benicia Duncan-Woolliscroft, 92 of Post Falls, Idaho passed away Sunday, May 8, 20ll. Born in Benicia, Ca. to John Turner Lowrey and Augusta Amanda “Gussie” Vance, she was raised in the San Diego, Escondido area. She married Henry Paul Duncan who was a member of an early day San Diego family whose grandparents started the first dairy in San Diego called “Duncan Dairy” during the 1800’s. In the early 1940’s, she & her husband, Hank Duncan, moved to the Turlock-Delhi area & developed a large dairy and farmed a ranch called “Duncan Acres” on Bradbury Rd. During the war, Rebecca was an observer on the “Watch Towers” during World War II protecting our country from Japanese spy planes flying over California. She was a member of Eastern Star for 60 years in the Delhi-Livingston area. She was a 4-H Leader, a Cub-Scout Leader, a member of the San Diego Zoological Society, and a member of San Diego County Retired Employees Association.

In the 1970’s she & her husband, William Duncan Woolliscroft moved to the Coarsegold area where she was active in the Sierra Historical Society, Oakhurst; Coarsegold Historical Society; Senior Citizens of Oakhurst, and a member of the Fresno Zoological Society.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her late husband’s Henry Paul Duncan & William Duncan Woolliscroft; a daughter, Merrilyn Benicia “Tootie” Duncan who drowned in 1943 near Delhi-Ballico; son, David Henry Duncan of Oakhurst; and twin granddaughters, Debra Ann & Debra Lynn Duncan, Turlock, Ca.

She is survived by her sons, Alan Duncan of Post Falls, Idaho, Gary Woolliscroft and his wife, Shizuko, of Yokohama, Japan & daughter-in-law, Arlene Duncan of Oakhurst; Step-children, Jess Woolliscroft, Wash.; David Woolliscroft, Mo.; Betty Mae Ray, Ore.; & Sharon Burns, Ore. Grandchildren are Scott Duncan of Fresno, Robin West and her husband, Sam of Marlow, Okla. & Amy Woolliscroft of Yokohama, Japan. Great-Grandchildren; Logan West and wife, Hannah, Stillwater, Okla., Beau West and wife, Stefani, Duncan, Okla., Dakota, Tanner, Autumn, Kady, Justin & Haley West, of Marlow, Okla. & 1 Great-Great-Grandchild due in Nov.

Graveside services will be held at Oakhill Cemetery, Oakhurst, Ca. on Friday, May 20, 2011 at 2 p.m.


I have wanted to write down these last few thoughts about my time with Mom, my Mother-In-Law, Rebecca Benicia Lowrey Duncan Woolliscroft when she passed away. Today, I finally am writing my memories of that time for our family.

Arlene Teller Duncan
August 2, 2011
Rebecca Benicia Lowrey, Duncan, Woolliscroft

August 9, 1918 - May 8, 2011

I was with Mom when she passed away. I had flown up to Post Falls, Idaho on April 19th, 2011 when I received word she had been admitted to Kootenai Medical Center for the 2nd time with pneumonia & trouble swallowing her food which was causing the pneumonia. By the time I arrived, she had been transferred to The Life Care Center in Post Falls, Idaho which was a rehabilitation faculty. When I arrived, she was in good spirits and wanted to go home as soon as possible. Within the next few days, she was going to physical therapy one or two times a day. She was so strong. She could lift both her legs with a small amount of weights on them. She lifted her arms above her head, stretched them out in front of her with weights, she could take a bar & lift it up, out in front & around her head, and when tossed a ball, tried to catch it in the air. Her comprehension was amazing; her strength so strong, it surprised me for being 92 years old. I was so happy for her. She followed all the instructions from the therapist and did everything he asked of her. They even had her on a bicycle doing 5-10 miles a day which she was so proud of. She would tell me everyday with a smile, “I did up to 10 miles today.” “See!”, and she would show me the meter on the bicycle. A few days later, she was walking with her walker from her room to the nurse’s station with the help of the therapist. She was bright & happy that she was making progress and wanted to go home.

While there, she had a doctor’s appointment with Dr. Harris in which we both rode The Life Care Center bus to & from the doctor’s office. It was very windy & cold that day, so we rushed her in and out of the doctor‘s office doors as quickly as possible. Her next appointment with him was for 1 week later. For her mealtime, I would wheel her to the dinning room & sit with her helping wherever needed, but she didn‘t need much help. She was doing so well. They had her on a soft diet which she called cereal. Every meal she would say she was eating cereal, but she ate very well. She would finish everything on her plate, including drinking all her juices & milk. She was trying to get healthy enough to go home. She was exercising, eating everything & walking with her walker down the hall. While there, there was a nail polish day. She and I went to the recreation room, and she had her nails polished in a beautiful bright reddish pink color. Everyone wooed over the color she had picked out, then they also wanted to use the same color. Another day, they had an ice cream social, so we both went down and had ice cream cones together. She liked that and again, she was doing so well.

All of a sudden one day while I spent the day with her, she didn’t seem to be as bright as she had been. I began to be surprised & started to tell the staff, she didn’t seem to be as alert as she had been the day before. The next day, she didn’t seem to have the strength. I was beginning to be concern. She didn’t want to walk anymore, she said they were working her too hard in therapy and she wanted to sleep more. The therapist then started coming to her room, and she didn’t want to go to the therapy station any longer. The last day or so at The Life Care Center, she also did not want to go to the dinning room & they started bringing her meals to her room, however, she did not want to eat.

The next day, I received a call from The Life Care Center that Mom’s oxygen was dropping & they had just admitted her to Kootenai Medical Center once again in Coeur D‘Alene. I rushed to the hospital, and she was in the ER. They were giving her oxygen & blowing air into her lungs for the pneumonia. She had developed pneumonia once again. They soon admitted her to ICU. I stayed with her the whole time, sleeping thru the nights with her. She was there, I believe for 3-4 days. Several young nurses’ aides would come in during the night to stay with her & let me sleep alittle on the day bed in her room.

Mom had a beautiful view from her window. There were pine trees all around the area of Coeur D‘Alene, & the spring flowers were blooming at the time. She enjoyed seeing everything outside her window around her. It was beautiful! The grass was so green!

On the 2nd day of her stay in ICU, the doctor came in & talked with her about her condition. She was not doing well. Her body was giving out. When the doctor finished, I called Scott to see if he wanted to say anything to Grandma. He spoke with her for a short while, then I heard her say to him, “Now, you Be a Good Boy”, and when your Mother gets old, take good care of her”! When she finished, she turned to me and said, “Tell everyone not to take it too hard”! I had tears in my eyes, because I knew what the doctor was saying and what she was saying. Then, she turned to the doctor and told him, “Thank you for everything you have done for me. I appreciate your help”!

The next day, she was pretty much in & out of it all day, but her mind was still very sharp. She knew everything that was going on around her & she could answer all the questions the staff asked her. Finally, that evening, another lady doctor & male nurse came in & she told them she was ready to go. She did not want anymore treatment. She had been pulling and struggling with her IV’s, monitors, and all the tubes on her, trying to pull everything out. Finally, the doctor said to her, “Honey”, your body is just wearing out”. If you want to pull everything off, except the IV tube, go ahead, which Mom did. I stayed with her the whole time, rubbing her arm & talking to her. At the end, I told her, “It’s OK, Mom; I can see David & Tootie waiting for you and your Mama with tears in my eyes. Within half an hour she was gone. I was sitting next to her bedside taking care of her and watching her breathing. Finally she took 2 small breaths. As I watched her chest, it didn’t move anymore. I motioned to the nursing staff which was right in front of her room, and as a nurse came in, I said, “I think she’s gone”. She checked her pulse in her neck, and said, “Yes, she’s gone“. She passed away on Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2011. Just that morning, I had brought in a beautiful vase of artificial flowers of pinks, lavenders, whites & red colors, because she couldn’t have fresh flowers in ICU, and a Mother’s Day Card which I had read to her that morning. She smiled and had a twinkle in her eye as she looked at me. It was her way of saying “Thank You” and that she appreciated me and the thoughtfulness I was showing her. She was my “Mom”, and I loved her for that.

I had talked with Logan West, my Grandson and Rebecca’s Great-Grandson a little while before she passed away about how she was doing. After she passed away, I called Logan to tell him she was gone. He and Hannah prayed with me over the phone next to her bedside.

She was flown from Post Falls, Idaho to California and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Oakhurst, California next to her husband, William Duncan Woolliscroft and in the same cemetery where her son, David Henry Duncan is buried.

Arlene Teller Duncan

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