Erin Dumller

Obituary of Erin Dumller

Our beautiful, lovable Erin succumbed to her final, devastating illness the morning of January 22nd at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. She was 58 years old. Our hearts are broken. She was born at the old Dominican Hospital on Soquel Avenue, March 5th, 1962. What a joy it was to welcome a daughter to join her two brothers, Mike and Don. Soon the old house felt cramped and the family moved to a larger home on the lower west side of town where we all found wonderful supportive neighbors, nearby schools and children for Erin and the boys to play with. Erin began her education at the Parent Education Nursery School on the Soquel High School campus, followed by Bay View Elementary, Mission Hill Junior High (where she was singled out as a gifted student) and Santa Cruz High School. During those years Erin was actively involved with the 4-H program and was one of three county children selected for a trip to Washington DC. Her membership introduced her to new crafts and furthered her cooking knowledge. She retained her love of cooking throughout her life and hosted many birthday dinners, baby and wedding showers. She excelled in and took pleasure in old fashioned skills embroidery, quilting and knitting which her Grandmother Nellie taught her. After high school, Erin was restless and ready to be on her own. She moved to Aptos to live with friends and then on, for a brief time to Yuma, Arizona. When she returned to Santa Cruz, Erin came to work for her mother at Ferrari Florist in downtown Santa Cruz, as bookkeeper. It was a time when computers were beginning to replace paper records and Erin was quick to embrace this new technology. It wasn’t long before Erin became an integral part of the business and a full partner in all decisions. She honed her computer record keeping and business skills with many seminars and classes sponsored by FTD. When the 89 earthquake destroyed the Ferrari building, Erin hired a new bookkeeper and opened a warehouse on Swift Street to fill floral orders while her mother managed another retail location. When it became clear that return to Pacific Avenue would be delayed the business was recombined on 41st Avenue. Here Erin continued to manage finances but also became a skilled floral designer, entering design competitions and thoroughly enjoying her work. But then, she became ill and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that changed the course of her life. The floral business was sold and Erin found new employment in Human Recourses at Smith Gardens in Watsonville. Employment she hoped would be less physical and would make working 40 hours a week instead of 60 possible. She moved to Watsonville to shorten the commute and moved into a home that showcased her color and design talents. The interior was lovely and Erin was proud of her shop- ping ability since so much of her furnishings were found at estate and yard sales. Over time Erin’s work responsibilities grew, the work more demanding and the hours longer. She knew another change was necessary and there were two options, disability or working at home where she could work when and as much as her health allowed. . She chose to create a new business and named it BayView Bookkeeping. . Erin returned to school at Cabrillo Collage taking classes that were interesting to her and one in accounting principles and procedures. That class ended with a glowing letter of recommendation and new clients.. BayView Bookkeeping was a success. The next four years were sometimes difficult as the symptoms of RA progressed but Erin was ever hopeful and determined to serve her clients well and she succeeded. In the summer of 2019, burdened by new, debilitating health conditions, Erin closed BayView Bookkeeping, left her home in Watsonville and moved back to the family home she grew up in. She kept only a very few favored clients which she eventually had to abandon. The next year her father died and new health challenges beset her. For a woman whose family had always been central in her life it was devastating and the beginning of a long downward spiral. Despite the ending, hers was not a miserable life. Erin loved challenge and she faced each one with intelligence, faith and courage. There were many years filled with joy and happiness. She loved to travel, both with friends, her family and occasionally on her own. She especially liked finding the road less traveled and making discoveries of beautiful places and people others overlooked. Family life was so important and gratifying for Erin. Round trip driving from Watsonville every Sunday morning for her Dad’s pancake breakfast and the visit with extended family was a must. Her great joy and pleasure came from time spent with nieces, nephews and their children. Her brother Don was her rock, always there when she needed him and always loved unconditionally by him. The loss of Erin in our lives is felt deeply. She will remain in our hearts and minds forevermore Erin is survived by her brother Donald Dumller and wife Leslie, mother Sue Dumller, Aunts Sherry Allen, Tina Heidmann, Linda Cordy and Madeline Wilds. Niece Katie Bruckner, husband Tony and children Drew and Tanner, Nephew Brett Nunn, wife Nicole and children Fletcher, Lola and Walker and more treasured cousins than can be named here. Erin was preceded in death by her father Richard Dumller and her brother Michael Andrew Dumlller. Since her brothers’ death in 2010, Erin has cared for and loved his cat Gemini. Should you wish to make a contribution in her memory, the Santa Cruz SPCA at www. would be appropriate. A Celebration of Life will be planned for Erin and Richard Dumller at a later date.

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