Burial Services Set for Juanita Bastanchury Ferraris, 77
By KATIA HETTER
FEB. 21, 1991 12 AM
TIMES STAFF WRITER
FULLERTON — Services were held Wednesday for Juanita Bastanchury Ferraris, a member of one of Orange County’s earliest ranching families, who died Saturday of congenital heart failure. She was 77.
Natives of the Basque country in Spain, family forebears Domingo and Maria Bastanchury came to what is now Orange County in the 1860s and started a sheep ranching business on 2,000 acres of land. They bought an additional 4,000 acres in the early 1900s and switched to citrus farming.
The ranch soon became one of the largest orange groves in the world, covering parts of what are now Fullerton, La Habra and Brea. The Bastanchury house still stands on East Las Palmas Avenue in Fullerton.
The Bastanchurys had four sons, Gaston, Joseph, John and Dominic, who were actively involved in the running of the ranch. Gaston’s attempt to strike oil turned into a serendipitous water discovery that eventually became the Bastanchury Water Co., which serviced the ranch for many years. The family is no longer associated with the company.
The daughter of Joseph and Juanita Bastanchury, Juanita Bastanchury Ferraris was born in 1913 on her grandparents’ ranch. The Fullerton native attended elementary school in Anaheim and went to high school at Ramona Convent School in Flintridge. As a young woman she was appointed executor of her grandmother’s estate and became involved in the running of the ranch, according to her niece, Mercedes Szarka. She married Angelo Ferraris in 1945. Their son, Angelo Jr., died in 1982. Mr. Ferraris died in 1985.
Mrs. Ferraris was one of the founders of the St. Jude’s Hospital Guild, the hospital’s fund-raising and volunteer organization. Until she retired about 10 years ago, she coordinated volunteer efforts and acted as liaison between hospital personnel and the administration.
“She was involved with St. Jude’s for as long as I can remember, at least 25 years,” Szarka said. “She also worked on an oral history of the family for Cal State Fullerton’s history department.”
“Auntie Ta,” as her nieces and nephews used to call her, “had a great sense of humor, was a good listener and was fun to be around,” Szarka said. She loved to travel, to go to “nice places for dinner and to go to the beach, to look how things had changed over the years.”
The rites were said at Fullerton’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which was built on land donated by Mrs. Ferraris’ grandmother, Maria Bastanchury. Burial will be at Queen of Heavens.