Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Obituaries: Anita Ferguson 1926 - 2010

Daily Pilot

Noted Newport Beach home builder Anita Ferguson, the wife of late Assemblyman Gil Ferguson, has died, family members said Monday.

Ferguson, who was well known as a conservative activist and GOP fundraiser, succumbed to ovarian cancer Sunday evening at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, son Jay Ferguson said. She was 84.

Anita Ferguson lived in the Bluffs neighborhood near Corona del Mar High School. She and her husband moved to Newport Beach in 1970 and lived on the Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Island, Corona del Mar and other neighborhoods throughout the city. Both were active in civic life, the Republican Party and political activism.

Anita and Gil Ferguson ran Gilita Homebuilding Co., which was named using letters from both of their first names. The company built many of the custom homes in Newport’s Spyglass neighborhood. Anita Ferguson worked as a home designer but was involved in many aspects of the family business, her son said.


Republican Gil Ferguson served in the state Assembly as the Newport Beach-area representative from 1984 to 1994. He died in 2007 at age 84. Jay Ferguson, 51, who works in commercial real estate and home building, is currently running for his dad’s old Assembly seat.

After her husband was elected to the Assembly, Anita Ferguson became more active in politics and fundraising, Jay Ferguson said.

Anita Ferguson was born in the city of Orange in 1926. Save for the time her husband served in the Marines, she lived the bulk of her life in Orange County.

She and Gil Ferguson married in 1948. The couple met as students at USC, the Orange County Register reported.


Ferguson is survived by four grown children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family has not yet scheduled services.

— John Canalis

Phill Hartsfield 1931 — 2010

Sword- and knife-maker Phill Hartsfield was the kind of man who everyone found easy to talk with and the kind of father who was regarded by his children as a best friend.

Hartsfield lost his battle with brain cancer Thursday. He was 78.

“We just loved him unconditionally, and he was my best friend,” his son Phil Hartsfield Jr. said through tears. “I worked with him all day, every day. He was really my only friend and my best friend, and it’s quite a loss for me.”

As a child, Hartsfield discovered his love for making knives and grew up to be one of the best sword- and knife-makers around. Phil Hartsfield Jr. then joined him, and the two worked together shaping steel for 30 years.

“We never crossed words,” he said. “He taught me, but he didn’t need to yell to do it.”


Hartsfield was born on Aug. 16, 1931, and died at home surrounded by his family.

He was a sonar man, 2nd class, on the USS Kidd destroyer during the Korean War, according to a news release.

He married his wife of 58 years, Pat, after getting out of the Navy, had five children, four girls and a boy, and 10 grandchildren.

The family moved to Costa Mesa in 1984.

Dissatisfied with the types of knives used by the Marine Corps Special Command, Hartsfield decided last year to make custom knives for each of the 14 members of the command, Phil Hartsfield Jr. said.

In honor of his father, Phil Hartsfield Jr. will continue to make the knives.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. June 5 at the Lighthouse Coastal Community Church, 301 Magnolia St., Costa Mesa.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to the Phill Hartsfield Memorial to continue the command knife program. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1637, Newport Beach, CA 92659.


— Mona Shadia