I lost a dear friend and advocate on Dec. 23, just two days before Christmas, when God reached down, touched Jeffrey San Marchi on the shoulder and said: Jeffrey, I am inviting you home for Christmas. You have finished your life’s calling and are ready to receive the rewards I have prepared for you in Paradise.” There was no warning, no pain, just a quick transition of soul and spirit from an earthly to a heavenly orb.

Jeffrey’s sudden passing was a great shock and sorrow to his many friends and readers who avidly and faithfully waited, some over the 20 years he published, for the bi-weekly edition of the #Ojai Voice# to hit the many newsstands around town that he personally sericed. And that was what he was doing when he suffered a fatal heart-attack — delivering his last issue.

Jeffrey was so multi-talented that, almost single-handedly, he produced a successful “smalltown” type newspaper that incorporated not only world and national news of note, but, to a greater degree, items of local interest — political, investigative, critical, controversial, etc. and multi-topical subjects. Also, as a “champion of the underdog,” he welcomed articles written by members of the community, giving them an outlet to express their opinions on community, government, personal matters, etc.

I was just one of those many contributors who, over a 10-year period, was able to keep the public informed and aware of my ongoing, insolvable problem with the 1998 landslide on the city lot adjacent to my home, and which today still threatens to destroy my home. Jeffrey published every article I wrote, the bulk of them from my numerous first Monday of the month presentations before the Ventura City Council. I mourn deeply his passing. He was not only a loyal supporter of my cause, but a true and loyal friend and one I could count on. I will go as far as to say that he became like a brother to me. Unfortunately, my last article is on his desk and will never be published.

So, Jeffrey, I will miss you so very much, as will all your friends, supporters and readers. Your #Voice# may be silenced, but the effects of your short journey on this earth will always be fondly remembered and cherished. Jeffrey’s voice mail always ended with “God bless you now,” and now, this is our wish for you.

Helen Yunker,