Cover photo for Patricia Hobart's Obituary
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1929 Patricia 2014

Patricia Hobart

September 27, 1929 — November 10, 2014

HOBART, Patricia Louise born September 27, 1929 in Glendale, CA. Passed away November 10, 2014 in Palmdale, CA. Patricia has been a resident of the Antelope Valley for 55 years. She was Postmaster in Leona Valley for 32 years. She is survived by her husband, Donald Hobart, children, Randy Nelson of Cedar Keys, FL, Debra Bayne of Camarillo, CA, Robyn Richter of Los Olivos, CA, Ken Nelson of Leona Valley, CA, and Cathy Petterson of Nyssa, OR. Patricia is preceded in death by her daughter, Becky Nelson. A visitation will be held from 11am to 1pm Saturday, November 15, 2014 at Chapel of the Valley Mortuary 1755 E. Ave. R., Palmdale, CA 93550 with a memorial service at 2pm at the Leona Valley Community Church 9306 Leona Ave., Leona Valley, CA 93551. Flowers to be sent to the service at Leona Valley Community Church. For further information and to sign the condolence book please visit www.chapelofthevalleymortuary.com. Chapel of the Valley Mortuary, Palmdale Directors. Post Office Closes Amid Protests From Town’s Residents: Leona Valley: Hamlet loses more than a place to pick up mail and packages as a result of government cost cutting.  There really isn’t much to the town of Leona Valley.  Now, there is even less. About 12:40pm Saturday, Postmaster Pat Hobart rolled down the window inside of post office that has served the San Gabriel Mountain hamlet for 40 years and the Leona Valley Contract Post Office was no more-no more of the fresh eggs she sold on the side, or the tray of free candy she proffered, or her friendly reminders to please pick up your mail frequently. It did not go quietly. More than 100 residents marched in front of the Country Hairizons beauty parlor, which fronts the building housing the post office.  They lambasted U.S. Postal Service authorities who decided earlier this month that it wasn’t economical to have the office open six days a week.  Residents also pointed blaming fingers eastward-to the encroaching suburban sprawl of Palmdale, where some may have to go to pick up parcels. “They’re slowly chopping away at the rural lifestyle,” said Gail DeJongh, who brought some Christmas cards and postcards to be canceled with the Leona Valley stamp.  “It’s just one more chunk of Leona Valley, and they want to take it.” It all started when Hobart decided to retire after 32 years.  The Postal Service requested new bids to host the office elsewhere in town, then rejected all of them as too expensive.  Two weeks ago, they told the town the post office would be closed. In its place, the Postal Service has erected a bank of metal boxes on the corner, to replace the windowed brass ones that lined the wall of the cramped office.  And mail carriers say they will try to deliver just about anything, either to the boxes or to homes.  Customers also can order stamps by mail.  But residents lament inevitable trips to pick up bulky packages at the Palmdale post office-a round trip jaunt of about 30 miles for some. But if you think a post office is just about mail, you don’t know Leona Valley. What town there is consists of a handful of stores scattered along the corners of Elizabeth Lake Road and 90 th Street, in the midst of a broad grassy valley in the northwest corner of Los Angeles County.  Everyone lives on at least 2 ½ acres, and most have orchards, horses or cattle. If they wanted post offices where no one knows your name or cares about the weather, they would have moved to Palmdale, they say. Fears of being swallowed by Palmdale are not unfounded.  One of the largest developments in the region is planned just between Leona Valley and Palmdale-a virtual city of 7,200 homes called Ritter Ranch. Though a relative newcomer, Carl Frahme, a 54-year-old consultant, may typify the fear symbolized by losing the post office.  “They don’t even ask for ID.” Hobart, 65, held up well through a morning of well-wishers wanting to mail just one more item.  Maybe someone will save the office, she said.  There is a town meeting Wednesday night, and a Thursday session planned with postal officials and Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-Santa Clarita).  For now, Hobart said, she will spend more time with her husband, Donald, her six children and her grandchildren. “My heart is just broken,” she said.  “We’ve put in all these years and this has come to be.  I never thought it would.”  As the 12:30 closing time approached, Hobart leaned over to pick up a box, and, as if she read on it the news of someone’s death, broke into sobs and retreated to a corner of the office.  She recovered to hand the last parcel of mail to Lee Racket, an 80-year-old grandmother who lives next door. “She’s been here even longer than I have,” Hobart said. A half an hour later, Hobart paused before slamming the final cancellation stamp on a 6-by-9 envelope from Paul Clark to the Purina Pro Club in Macoutah, Ill., 62224. All she felt, she said, was a void.
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