Loraine Estelle Hollingsworth, 82, also known as Cherokee, passed away peacefully in her canyon home of 70 years surrounded by her loving family.
Loraine is survived by her two children, John William Verdugo and Andrea Estelle Verdugo; her son-in-law, Timothy Kane O’Neil; her three grandchildren, John Isidro Verdugo, Estelle Leann Verdugo and Marielena Theresa Verdugo; and her cousin, Steve Harold Martin.
Loraine was born to William John West and Maude Estelle West in Inglewood and moved to Laguna Beach in 1942 to Cypress Street, and moved again in 1949 to her home on Sun Valley Drive in Laguna Canyon. She registered herself at the age of 7 to the only grammar school in Laguna Beach on Park Avenue and continued her schooling until graduating from Laguna Beach High School in 1954.
As a young woman, Loraine earned money boarding horses and turned managing the horse ranch, Rancho Sol Vado, into a full-time career. She taught many Laguna locals how to ride and care for horses. Loraine worked many odd jobs such as selling buffalo burgers on a Buffalo Ranch, driving school buses full of children searching for hub-caps for fun, working the grounds at Sawdust Festival, working at the Assistance League, and volunteering many hours at the Susie Q. Loraine married John Samuel Verdugo in 1956. They had two children and separated soon after.
Loraine lived a vibrant life, full of good friends, a supportive family, and most importantly, lots of love and joy. She loved painting, horseback riding, creating art, gardening, caring for animals, reading, learning, telling stories of old times, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She was frequently seen riding her bicycle down the canyon road and enjoyed playing beach volleyball at Main Beach. In her later years, she learned how to play ukulele at the Susie Q, where she also spent a lot of her time taking art classes and playing bingo with her friends.
Loraine was a big advocate for protecting Laguna Canyon through protesting, writing letters and speaking at public forums. Her love for protecting nature and animals was an important part of her life. Loraine and her home survived all the canyon flooding and fires. A true Laguna local, she was always involved in the community.
Loraine will be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, friend and neighbor. She was a woman of God, a believer of Jesus Christ, the salt of the earth, radical, spirited, adventurous, sharp, sweet, sassy, fun and wise.
Many thanks to the wonderful work of death doula, Dr. Andrea Deerheart, founder of The Heartway, who helped guide Loraine and her family through her end of life transition; to Pastor Dave; and to all the wonderful hospice workers who took care of Loraine.
All friends of the family are invited to celebrate Loraine’s life on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 11 a.m. on the main deck of Sawdust Art Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road. Bring your thoughts, prayers and fondest memories of Loraine to share with all.
In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations made to: The Heartway Foundation, Susie Q, or a wildlife foundation of the donor’s choice.