Luan Stombaugh


Luan Stombaugh, of Laguna Beach and Tucson, Ariz., passed away on Monday, Oct.  1, in Tucson surrounded by family after a long struggle with progressive supranuclear palsy.

Luan was born on June 17, 1946, in Alhambra to Marvin and Emalee Merrill (both deceased). She spent her childhood in Alhambra, where she graduated from San Gabriel High School in 1964.  She attended Pasadena City College, where she studied art design.

Stombaugh had a lifelong passion for art, design and the ocean, which brought her to Laguna Beach in 1970, where she lived happily in her beach cottage, and spent many hours with family and friends at the beach. Stombaugh participated in the early years of the Sawdust Festival as an exhibitor.

Stombaugh took her winning personality and prospered as an independent sales rep, focusing on action sportswear. She was fortunate to obtain numerous clients in Mammoth Lakes, where she loved spending time in nature and skiing. She met her soul mate of 15 years, Dave Polston, in Mammoth. They later acquired a business, Rustic Accents, where Stombaugh worked until she became too ill.

Once in a while someone comes into your life that has that light that makes your life better. Luan was one of those special people who touched everyone that she met. A special human being does not begin to describe who Luan was.  She treated everyone with grace and kindness, and brought so much joy to the world with her fabulous smile.

Stombaugh is survived by Dave Polston; step children, Linley and Garner; sons Jeff and daughter-in-law Dina, of Spokane, Wash., and David and daughter-in-law Monica, of Laguna Niguel; former husband Joe Stombaugh; sister Dana and brother-in law Wayne Wilson of LaVerne; and grandchildren, Briana, Joseph, Nate, Gabriel, Chandler and Ellie.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to www/, to further research to cure PSP, a rare disease that attacks nerve cells near the brain.

A private memorial is planned in the near future to fulfill Stombaugh’s wish to forever swim in the waters of Laguna Beach.

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  1. LuLu your laugh and great smile will be missed but never forgotten. Our prayers are with Dave and your family our hearts are full knowing you are resting in peace with our Lord.

  2. I was very lucky to be part of Luann’s life. We were good friends in high school and I will always have great memories of her. My heart goes out to her family and know she is at peace with our father.


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