Whittier pioneer dies at 86 Hartnell traced roots to Spanish settlers

first_imgWHITTIER – Carlos Santos Zuniga Hartnell, who traced his family roots back to the founding of the Los Nietos School District and to Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California, died Saturday of a heart attack. He was 86. Rosary Mass will be celebrated for the Whittier resident from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at White-Emerson Mortuary, 13304 Philadelphia St., Whittier. Viewing will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. the same day and at the same location. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 7215 Newlin Ave. “He had this incredible heritage behind him,” said Tim Miguel, his great nephew. “(His mother) was born in the mission district. He’s the one who remembered all the history.” Miguel said he will miss the Fridays he spent with Hartnell learning about the history of this area. “The things he forgot to tell me one weekend he would come up with the next weekend,” he said. Hartnell always was telling him different tidbits, such as when a person died in another’s arms, Miguel recalled. “He knew where all the bodies were buried, literally,” he said. On his mother’s side, he was descended from Don Gaspar de Zuniga, viceroy for Mexico in the state of Monterey from 1595 to 1603. He also was the great-great-great-grandson of Bernardino Guirado, one of the first settlers of the Los Nietos area. His great grandfather, Edwardo Poyorena, helped found Los Nieto School District. Born in Whittier, Hartnell grew up in an 1840s house that his mother, Leonora Margarita Zuniga, relocated in 1905 from Los Nietos to Pasadena Street in Whittier. Hartnell was a painter and hardwood finisher. He served in World War II, but didn’t like to talk about it, Miguel said. “He was a family man dedicated to his work and family,” he said. During the last 30 years, he researched and collected history of his family and the area. His mother was a historian and Hartnell would listen to her, absorbing the information, Miguel said. After she died, he became the family historian, Miguel said. Hartnell is survived by his wife, Mary, and daughters Leonora Salas of Concho, Ariz., and Lorraine Hartnell of Whittier. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more