H. C. “Doc” Sharp, 73, pioneer Saticoy rancher and leader in the state walnut industry, died unexpectedly last night (April 27, 1956) during a fishing trip to his cabin at Sespe Hot Springs with three other men
Corner Virgil Payton was called late last night by two members of the fishing party who had driven out of the rugged back country to Highway 399 to notify officials of the death.
According to Payton, Mr. Sharp went to the Sespe Camp yesterday afternoon with W. C. Brown, his ranch foreman, A. M. Gass, Saticoy and Joe Muzio, Montalvo resident and Saticoy business.
Members of the party told Payton that the group had dinner and Mr. Sharp retired early, according to habit. As he was going to bed about 8 p.m. he suffered what was described as an “asthma attack’ and died.
Muzio and Gass drove a jeep over the back country road to a telephone to notify the Ventura county sheriff’s office of the death. Payton drove into the fishing camp with sheriff’s deputy Ted McLachlin from Oak View.
Mr. Sharp was one of the founders of the Saticoy Walnut Growers Association and 45 years as manager of the organization. At the time of his death he was serving as secretary of the association. His father was one of the original organizers of cooperatives for walnut growers in the state.
For many years he served as a member of the six-man California Walnut Control Board, an organization to administer state marketing order for walnuts produced and sold within California. In 1955 he retired as president of the California Walnut Growers.
Mr. Sharp was also president of the Mupu Citrus Association, president of the Alta Mutual Water company of Saticoy, president of the Saticoy Water company and manager of the Saticoy Lima Bean association.
Mr. Sharp is survived by his wife, Dorothy; three daughters, Mrs. Dora Gilberson, Santa Paula, Mrs. Dana Marble, Saticoy, and Mrs. William Cline, Jackson, Mich.; son, James M. Sharp, Saticoy; two sisters, Mrs. John Thille, Saticoy and Mrs. Walter Duval, Santa Paula; two brothers, Julian H. Sharp, Piru, and L. T. Sharp, Santa Paula; and seven grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 at the Skillin Chapel, Santa Paula. Burial will be in the Santa Paula Cemetery.
Ventura Star Free Press, April 28, 1956
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman