Anita Heely was born April 19, 1922, in La Crescenta, CA. to Georgia (Wilson) from Oklahoma and Vahan Oundjian from Constantinople, Turkey. Her father, Vahan, later changed this name to William Vahan Miller, therefore, Anita’s maiden name was Anita Miller. At a very early age (6), she lost her father in a motorcycle accident, leaving her, her older brother Don, and her mother alone in La Crescenta.
She graduated from Hollywood Professional School in 1939 and soon participated in theater and stage plays. At 18 years of age, she auditioned for a play for a major role and got it. She starred in the theater production of “She Lost it in Campeche” held at the Mosart Theater in Los Angeles.
In the early 40s, she joined a trick riding company in Van Nuys, CA, where she learned her horseback riding skills and ultimately was one of the opening acts that performed at the newly built Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. She rode with her teammates, Roman Style, around the new stadium at high speed, with all the performers standing on the backs of one sleek black horse and one sleek white horse.
She married Ray Heely in 1948 in Quartzite, AZ., and moved to Paso Robles in 1951. While residing in Paso Robles for 71 years, she worked for many of the prominent Roblans and Businesses. Starting in the early 60s, she worked for Otto Van Horn as a tax preparer. She then worked for Bill Van Horn with the San Miguel Flouring Mill as a bookkeeper/weighmaster, for the Templeton Sales Yard with Jerold Shreeves, as a cattle weighmaster, and for both Burr Webber and Gary Nelson, as a tax preparation assistant. She was an awarding-winning salesperson for Mary Kay products, and while living in Whitley Gardens with her husband Ray, she worked in accounting for the Whitley Gardens Water District.
Anita loved cooking, sewing, riding horses, fishing, working with leather, traveling, and camping. She authored an autobiography in 2006 depicting her life from birth to her golden years. She titled it “My life from Dawn to Dusk.” She lived 16 more wonderful years after
publishing her book. She was a courageous woman who stated in her book, “I have always welcomed challenges, and to this day, I will tackle anything I make up my mind to do.”, and she did just that. Her family cherishes her autobiography, which displayed her triumphs and her hardships throughout her life.
Anita was a “Centurion” and celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends this past April. She anticipated this milestone birthday with joy and excitement and was thrilled to share and reminisce over her accomplishments throughout the century. She had seen more changes in the world in her lifetime than most anyone will ever see.
Her pride and joy were her two sons, Neil and Robert Heely. She is survived by Neil Heely from Hatfield, AR, Robert (Jill) Heely from Paso Robles, CA, and is also survived by her grandchildren: Brant (Emily) Heely from Walnut Creek, CA, Eric (Maggie) Heely from Louisville, KY, and Kaitlin and Madison Heely from Paso Robles, CA. She was also very proud of her four great-grandchildren: Rori and Knox Heely from Louisville, KY, Jack Heely from Walnut Creek, CA, and Cody Alexander from Hatfield, AR. She will be missed dearly by all her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband Ray Heely in 1995.
As Anita wished, there will be no service, and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you think of kindness and donate to a veterans charity. You may consider donating in Ray and Anita’s name to: Honor Flight of the Central Coast, P.O. Box 1750, Paso Robles, CA 93447, or Mighty Oaks Foundation Click Here