Header Graphic
Zona Bisko Strathearn
Classmates, if any girl was the Ideal of Beauty and Grace at '60s SHHS, Zona was the one. Rest in Heavenly Peace.


Zona Ann Strathearn (1946 - 2011), SHHS Class of 1963

Zona Ann Strathearn passed away Sept. 1, 2011, at the age of 65 after a valiant and nearly decade long battle with ovarian, brain and spinal cancer.

Zona was born in Bisbee, Ariz., on Feb. 24, 1946, the daughter of Joseph J. Bisko and Edna Mae Mason.

After graduating from high school, Zona owned and managed a successful beauty salon called The French Village in Fullerton.

Upon meeting her first husband and becoming pregnant with their child, Zona sold the business to focus on her parenting duties. She never gave up on this most important enterprise, making family her biggest priority, even in her final moments.

Amongst her many responsibilities, Zona was also extremely involved in volunteering her time. She was a member of the Flight Bags, a community-oriented group of pilot wives during her first marriage.

She volunteered as a Candy Striper at Simi Valley Hospital for 12 years. Later in life, she worked as a hospice volunteer with Livingston Memorial for three years.

Apart from donating her time, Zona supported many philanthropic endeavors. Zona assisted her second husband Bruce's work on various committees and served as a Rotarian wife for 12 years.

Additionally, she contributed to the Women's Legacy Fund, Heritage Fund, Destino Latino 2000 Fund, the Strathearn Family Fund to support the Chamber's Foundation for Simi Valley, and the Bruce and Zona Strathearn Fund for future Ventura County Charities.

Zona took pleasure in many pastimes and fun activities. She was a shark at several card games including Gin, Gin Rummy, Cribbage and Bridge, and she relished in her marathon bridge sessions with locals throughout Ventura County.

Zona was a tremendous singles and doubles tennis player, and she played both competitively at Sunset Hills Country Club. She was a part of the decorating committee at the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club of Oxnard. After experiencing an exotic hiking excursion to Provence, France, in 1999, Zona became involved with a local hike and bike club and enjoyed several hiking trips across Southern California in the following years. She was a willing participant in her monthly book club meetings.
Perhaps more than anything, Zona enjoyed travel, including three separate trips to Europe when she enjoyed good health in 2004. Other notable trips were to South Africa, Vietnam, China, Australia and New Zealand. Her travels included many annual trips to Northeastern Oregon and the Sierras, where she consistently caught the most and largest fish on each trip.

Zona took part in all of these activities while remaining a devoted and tireless wife, mother and grandmother to those closest to her.

Needless to say, she earned her nickname: "Zoomer!" Zona and Bruce recently celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary.

Zona is survived by her husband, Bruce Strathearn; her daughters, Allison Strathearn-Forrest (husband Roger) of Apache Junction, Ariz., Kim Strathearn of Istanbul, Turkey, and Kimberly Gustafson (husband Kurt) of Poway, Calif.; and her son, David Strathearn (wife Alisa) of Los Angeles.

Zona has a granddaughter, Khysa Gustafson, and grandson, Kaden Gustafson, of Poway, Calif., and they will be joined by another grandson of Los Angeles, in the next two weeks.

Zona's ashes are with her family in Oxnard. A private memorial was held in Oxnard on September 10 for Zona's immediate family.

However, Zona would never want a large group of people to mourn her passing. Therefore, the family will be hosting an open party to be held at the Strathearn Historical Park on Oct. 22, from 12:30 - 4 p.m.

This Celebration of Zona's Life will be open to all of her family and friends. Guests wishing to confirm their attendance should RSVP to Ben and Carol Whitney at cswkiwi@roadrunner.com (preferred) or by phone at 805-527-2009 (secondary, if no email available).

In order to prepare for the celebration, all RSVPs must be received no later than October 8.
For all of those who knew Zona, they knew she lived life to the fullest. For this reason, her family looks forward to celebrating her life with those that were closest to her.

In lieu of flowers, Zona felt strongly about two charities and any gesture can be given to either of the following:

1) Livingston Memorial, 80 Long Court, Suite 1-A, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360, 805-495-9655;

2) or, Food Share of Oxnard, FOOD Share Inc, 4156 Southbank Road, Oxnard, CA 93036, 805-983-7100.


Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free;
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call I
turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that place at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss;
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times,
a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, and set me free.

-Shannon Lee Moseley

Arrangements were made with the assistance of Griffin Family Funeral Chapels, Thousand Oaks,


Add Comment

Anne Bomke Ward on October 4, 2011 at 10:40 PM said:

This was a remarkable, beautiful woman! In spite of the ravages of her many battles with cancer, she graced our SHHS '63 reunion with her presence and, as always, stole the show! Her considerable physical beauty paled in comparison to her inner beauty. I'm so thankful that I was able to see her one more time.
Larry Muzio on October 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM said:

My memory of Zona was that gentle, sweet soul with a radiant smile. It was great to see that she lived such a full meaningful life...she will be missed.
Julie (Okey) Pryor on October 2, 2011 at 10:15 AM said:

I have fond memories of Zona from our high school days. She always had the sweetest smile. It was also a very genuine smile. My last memory is of her at the SHHS reunion where she beautifully wore her eye patch, looking like a magnificent pirate wench. Her sweetness and her loveliness had not faded. She put up a tremendous fight against cancer. She will be long remembered....
Dave Meier '62 on September 25, 2011 at 7:38 AM said:

You had a quiet graciousness that is still remembered 50 years later .... you will always be with us.
Janis McClanahan Weaver on September 24, 2011 at 8:27 PM said:

I recall that Zona was beautiful, kind and generous with her time. She always smiled and said "hello" at school, at parties and at athletic events.

It seems that Zona was as wonderful later in life as she was in high school. I am sorry that I didn't keep in touch throughout the years because it is obvious that Zona was a remarkable woman with a great family.

My sincere condolences go out to Zona's family.
Babs Burton Jaesche Kistner, '64 on September 24, 2011 at 1:30 PM said:

It is hard to believe. She was so beautiful and such a beautiful human being. God bless her.
Steve Lowe on September 24, 2011 at 1:26 PM said:

I last saw Zona at the 1963 SHHS Class Reunion. She was still as pretty as I remembered her in our youth. She told us of her rich and interesting life. She was fighting on without a hint of surrender.
I can see her now as a young girl with her blond hair pulled back and a lovely smile.
I think she was a special person.
I am sorry for Vicky and all of Zona's other close friends.

Add Comment