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Thursday, June 15, 2023
Starts at 9:30am (Pacific time)
Thursday, June 15, 2023
Starts at 10:00am (Pacific time)
Services will be held Thursday, June 15, 2023, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 900 H Street, with a Rosary at 9:30 am and Funeral Mass at 10:00 am, for Fernando Iturriria, 86, who entered eternal life on June 1, 2023.
Fernando Iturriria was born on September 26, 1936, in Lekaroz, Navarra, Spain. He was the ninth of fourteen children born to Francisca Goni and Bautista Iturriria. Fernando grew up in his beloved family home of “Ortiborroa” where he was lovingly referred to as Peñan by his family. During this time, Fernando learned the value of hard work, the importance of family and discovered his connection to the land.
In November of 1959 at the age of 23, Fernando left his beloved homeland and immigrated to the United States to pursue a life of better opportunity. Fernando joined his older brothers Andres, Paco and Miguel and began working as a sheepherder for I & M Sheep Company. In 1968, he partnered with his younger brother Antero to establish A & F Sheep Company. The legacy of A & F Sheep Company continues to this day encompassing sheep, cattle and farming. Fernando was widely respected for his strong work ethic, honesty, and passion for the sheep industry. He spent his life working up until his illness at age 86 — it was his true life calling. Fernando looked forward to family, friends, rain, feed and Saturday night dinners at Wool Growers Restaurant. Fernando touched the lives of many with his friendship, humor, kindness and generosity.
In 1964, Fernando met his future wife, Yvonne Ansolabehere, at a dance held at the Noriega Hotel. They were married on July 16, 1966 and together would build a loving home for their children and establish one of the largest sheep ranching operations in the United States.
Fernando was a lifetime member of the California Wool Growers Association, Kern County Wool Growers Association and the Kern County Farm Bureau. He was proud of his Basque culture and was a generous supporter and honorary member of the Kern County Basque Club. Fernando looked forward to Basque functions where he enjoyed socializing with friends, listening to music and watching pelota games.
Fernando was preceded in death by his parents, Francisca and Bautista; brothers and sisters Andres, Maritxu, Conchita, Bautista, Manuel, Paco, Miguel and Antero; in laws John “5” and Mary Ansolabehere, sisters and brothers-in-law Maria Esther, Bautista, Jose Maria, Jeanne and Albert.
Fernando is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Yvonne, his children Teresa Echeverria (Eduardo), Freddie (Chris) and Joey. He was a proud Aitatxi to Isabel and Nicholas Iturriria and Lucas Echeverria. Fernando is also survived by his brothers and sisters Gloria, Pazita, Txarito (Norberto), Luis Mari (Ines), Martin Jose (Isabel), sisters and brother-in-law Lolo, Maria Luisa, Yvonne, Lourdes, Mike Ansolabehere as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the many doctors, nurses, caregivers and Hoffman Hospice who took such loving care of Fernando in his last few months. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nick Bordagaray Kern County Basque Club Scholarship Fund (P.O. Box 416 Bakersfield, CA 93302), the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
Goian Bego Gure Senarra, Aita, Aitatxi, Osaba, eta Laguna