The centennial of the birth of Dr. Amorita Treganza, the first Miss Lemon Grove (1928) and the nation's first woman to lead a national medical organization–the College of Optometrists in Vision Development–will be observed on the next "History Alive" lecutre at the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.
Treganza was born on June 6, 1912 in Salt Lake City into a gifted family that impacted the history of Utah and California. Her grandfather, Eduardo, was a gifted painter and horticulturist who taught grafting techniques to early citrus growers in Lemon Grove and others in San Diego and Orange Counties. Her grandmother, Josephine, was a poet and fossil collector, who identified many species, some now extinct, along the San Diego Coastline. Her father, Alberto, a noted architect, introduced the Arts and Crafts Movement to Salt Lake City, where several of his beautiful homes live on as historic sites; designed The Big Lemon for Lemon Grove; restored the Spanish Village in Balboa Park for the 1935 exposition; co-designed the San Diego Police Headquarters (today, a national historic site), and left a legacy of beautiful homes throughout San Diego County. Her mother, Antwonet, was the first woman to lead the Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce and was a local postmaster, and wrote a weekly column on ornithology for the San Diego Union in the 1930s.
Treganza pioneered vision development for children and focused her practice on children's eye problems. She was a Spanish dancer, an actor at the Old Globe Theatre, a philanthropist in many areas of education and social services, a business leader with optometry offices in San Diego and Lemon Grove, a participating physician with the Flying Samaritans, a past president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, a grower of magnificent amaryllis flowers, and a part-time resident of Baja California to which she was named Goodwill Ambassador by San Diego Mayor Charles Dail in 1961. In 1964 she was voted Woman of the Year in San Diego. She died in 2002.
The June 7 "History Alive" will include the presentation of a City Proclamation by Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom, a reminiscence by Treganza's son and Helix High School graduate, Robert Turnbull IV, a colorful PowerPoint presentation by Helen Ofield on Treganza's life and times, a centennial birthday cake with 100 candles and champagne.
The event is sponsored by the Lemon Grove Historical Society and free and suitable for ages 18 and over. Seating is limited and early arrival is advised.