A Granddaughter Remembers

  Vern Sturgeon   State Capitol

Vernon L. Sturgeon Memorial Highway

"One of the besetting sins of many of our public servants (and of not a few of our professional moralists, lay and clerical) is to cloak weakness or baseness of action behind insincere oratory on behalf of impractical ideals. The true servant of the people is the man who preaches realizable ideals; and who then practices what he has preached."

President Teddy Roosevelt


Senator Vernon Sturgeon Highway


Pioneer Day 2006







The Sturgeon Family is very happy to announce the passing of California State Senate Resolution SCR 72, honoring the late Senator Vernon L. Sturgeon by naming a portion of Highway 101 (from Spring Street, Paso Robles to Santa Barbara Road, Atascadero) as the Senator Vernon L. Sturgeon Memorial Highway.  Signs were installed on Highway 101 on Monday October 2nd . 

Through many conversations with friends, family and colleagues of my grandfather, as well as childhood memories & stories told, we feel his contributions to the City of Paso Robles, County of San Luis Obispo and State of California are worthy of  the honor of his name being placed here locally on State Highway 101.

A few of the many contributions made by the late Vernon L. Sturgeon were:

  • 1952 – 1960 Served on Paso Robles City Council
  • 1957 – 1960  Paso Robles City Mayor; Police Commissioner
  • 1961 – 1966 California Sate Senator, District 29 (carried the Appropriations Bill for the Highway 46 West project)
  • 1966  Campaigned with Gubernatorial Candidate Ronald Reagan as his Legislative Advisor
  • 1967 – 1969 Legislative Secretary to Gov. Ronald Reagan
  • 1967 – 1969 Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works, overseeing the State’s $1 billion a year highway program.
  • 1969 – 1979 Appointed by Govs. Reagan and Brown to Public Utilities Commission, serving a term as President.

During his tenure in the Senate, Senator Sturgeon served on the following committees:

Standing Committees

  • Social Welfare, Chairman

  • Agriculture

  • Insurance & Financial Institutions

  • Public Health & Safety

  • Transportation

 Interim Committees

  • Fact Finding Committee on Labor & Welfare, Chairman

  • Fact Finding Committee on Agriculture

  • Fact Finding Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities

A member of a San Luis Obispo County Pioneer Family, Senator Sturgeon attended Paso Robles schools and followed in his father’s footsteps as a milk distributor in San Luis Obispo County.  On a more local and personal level, my grandfather was a philanthropist, benefiting children and young people of this County:

  • Providing milk to those who could not afford to pay for it.

  • Playing a significant role in securing the temporary site for the original Cuesta College.

  • Instrumental in securing funds for a number of projects & programs at Cal Poly SLO.

  • Through his efforts the library at Hearst Castle was made available to UC students for research & study

Thank you for your consideration.  We are happy to share additional information; please feel to contact me at

You may also visit the state web site at:  to review the final resolution.

Best Regards,

Lynette Sonne