Daughter of Pioneer Couple in Huntington Beach Dies at 88

Vanona Esther (Worthy) Carl, youngest daughter of a pioneer couple who settled in Huntington Beach at the turn of the century, has died at age 88.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the main chapel at Westminster Memorial Park. Burial will follow.

Mrs. Carl’s parents, James and Sarah Worthy, came to the seaside town, known then as “Shell Beach,” in November, 1897, from Ozark, Ark. James Worthy spent 40 years ranching lima beans, celery and sugar beets. The couple had seven children.

Mrs. Carl was born in Santa Ana on Feb. 4, 1906. Known as “Nonie” to family and friends, she attended Ocean View Elementary School and graduated from Huntington Beach High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and became a junior high school teacher. She worked in Los Angeles area schools and taught home economics and physical education.


On Dec. 18, 1937, she married Jack Carl. The couple made their home in Los Angeles.

In 1939, when Mrs. Carl’s father died, she and her husband moved back to the family farmhouse in Huntington Beach and she retired from teaching. The couple loved to travel the country and visited 38 states and Canada with their trailer in tow.

After her husband died in 1992, Mrs. Carl moved to Minnesota to live with her daughter.

“She was a down-to-earth kind of person--I never saw that woman get mad,” said Susan Worthy of Huntington Beach, Mrs. Carl’s cousin. “She was very calm and always friendly. I loved hearing family stories from her. It’s kind of sad. It’s the last of her generation--that whole era is gone.”


She is survived by daughter Sharon Stephens and her husband, Dale, of Minneapolis. She is also survived by three grandchildren, also of Minneapolis.