Juanita Laura Thornburgh

March 24, 1918 to January 3, 2018

Juanita Laura Equisoain Thornburgh passed on to the greater good of heaven on January 3, 2018. She was just shy of her goal to reach 100 years by 80 days. Juanita’s life will come full circle, when she is laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery. Coincidentally, prior to becoming a cemetery, it was on this land that she was born and spent the first 9 years of her life. Her Spanish Basque parents immigrated in the early part of the 20th century and farmed this land in Palms, California for many years. Juanita had many fond memories as a young girl roaming the Fox Hills of Inglewood with her sisters and cousins, from riding horses along the Playa del Rey beach to sneaking onto the old MGM studio lot which is now Sony Pictures Studio.

In 1927 her family moved from Palms to Lancaster, north of Los Angeles where they had an opportunity to purchase their own land and farm eighty acres on the west side of the valley.  Her family was an integral part of the early pioneers of the Antelope Valley farming community. Along with her 3 sisters Mary, Sylvia, and Francis (Babe) and parents Angel and Juana, Juanita enjoyed an idyllic California experience growing up in this small community that provided much love and support.  At age 22, Juanita became the youngest Superior Court county clerk in California. In 1950 a handsome, young Larry Thornburgh inquired at the court house, “who is that Spanish beauty” and the rest is history.

They married in 1951 and moved to Pomona, California. Juanita continued as a court clerk until 1956 when she retired to become a full time mother and housewife. When their four children were of high school age, she returned to employment with Catholic Social Services and worked until Larry retired in 1980. In retirement, Larry and Juanita moved to Fallbrook, California and built their dream home to once again be close to the land. They both loved the view toward the ocean and enough land to grow a variety of trees, grape vines, roses and flowers. Gardening and being outdoors was a place of solace and beauty for Juanita.  It is here that Juanita and Larry found peace in their retirement and a return to the romantic memories of their youth. They named their home “La Loma” in honor of the hill where Juanita grew up in Palms.

Juanita is preceded in death by her husband, Laurence Duffy Thornburgh but is survived by her four children and their families: Celeste and Jim Warburton, Joe and Diane Thornburgh and grandson Logan, Brian and Mary Thornburgh, and Carmen and Rick Schaefer and granddaughter Zoe. She will be buried with Larry and near her parents and sisters.

We will miss our mother with great sorrow but we know that our love for her will never diminish. She was and always will be a beautiful woman, inside and out.

She’ll be remembered with her favorite toast:

A salud, pesetas, joventude, y el tiempo para gusarlo!

To health, wealth, youth and the time to enjoy it!
Yours was a wonderful life, Juanita and you graciously took the time to enjoy it.


  • Date: January 8, 2018
  • Time: 4:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Location: St. Therese Parish
  • Address: 6400 St Therese Way San Diego, CA 92120
  • Directions: St. Therese Parish

Celebration of Life

  • Date: January 9, 2018
  • Time: 11:00am
  • Location: St. Therese Parish
  • Address: 6400 St Therese Way San Diego, CA 92120
  • Directions: St. Therese Parish


  • Date: January 10, 2018
  • Time: 11:00am
  • Location: Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City
  • Address: 5835 W. Slauson Avenue Culver City, CA 90230
  • Directions: Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City

We wanted to express our love for family and for the wonderful memories of a generation that preceded us. Tia Juanita was always pleasantly charming to all of us. We will miss her but glad that she raised a wonderful family to carry on her love of life. Ed, Emilie and Celeste

Ed Berruezo on January 09, 2018

Juanita was one of the classiest ladies I ever met. She always had a kind word for everyone she spoke to. She raised some great kids too. She will be missed. We can all take comfort in knowing she is with Larry again.

Vaughn, Deborah, and Adam May on January 09, 2018