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Monterey Bay Ninety-Nines


"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."

Elinor Smith
early aviatrix



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Louise Minniear

Louise Kirby Minniear was born in Santa Cruz California in 1932 and raised in San Jose. She met her future husband Dave while working at the Candy Company. They had two sons, Steve and Tim. After her husband was lost at sea in 1961, she returned to San Jose State University to acquire her teaching credentials. Her first teaching job was at Newman Elementary in the central valley. While there, she made many friends and became part of the extended Santos family.

Years later she returned to Santa Cruz County and began teaching in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. During her time there, she worked on grant writing for migrant education programs and started the first computer lab for elementary students. In 1994 she retired from her position at Amesti Elementary School. Louise learned to fly in 1986 at Watsonville Airport and shortly thereafter became an aircraft owner. After acquiring her 1967 Cessna 150 N2758S, the sky was the limit. From that moment on, if there was a Fly-In, that's where you could find Louise and 58S. While at Ryan Field for its 50th Anniversary, Louise caught a ride in what was to become her favorite aircraft, a Ryan PT-22. Catching rides in interesting aircraft was a skill she developed to a fine art. She entered 58S in an air race, flew to many 99s events, and participated in poker runs, flour bombings and anything else that caught her fancy. She was always ready to fly. While on a trip to Ireland, Louise even took the opportunity to rent an airplane and do some flying there.

Not only did Louise fly but she also contributed her time and skills to several flying organizations. She held offices in the Monterey Bay Chapter of the 99s, Watsonville Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 119 and the Pajaro Valley Aviation Academy. Because she was very good with numbers and record keeping, she was very often convinced to be treasurer of the various organizations. She did outstanding research on her genealogy. Her children and grand children were very important to her, as was keeping her many friends posted on all of their achievements. She enjoyed many travels to Ireland with family and friends to visit her relatives there. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

Louise is survived by sons Steven and Timothy; Steven's wife Pamela; grandchildren, Mackensie, Cameron, Tobias and Michael; and dear friend Jim Young.

Louise and family would wish that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to her favorite charities, the Pajaro Valley Aviation Academy, which gives scholarships to young persons in the Pajaro Valley and/or the Monterey Bay 99s scholarship fund. Please send donations to:

140 Mesa Verde Drive
Watsonville, CA 95076
  Monterey Bay 99s
c/o P.O. Box 924
Freedom, CA 95019.

We will miss her dearly.
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