|Tina Williams was a newlywed when the City of Irvine incorporated on December 28, 1971. Today, 40 years later, she is a mother and grandmother – three generations of Irvine residents whose personal arc starts at the beginning of a City filled with promise and continues with the optimism of a future still to come. |
“I love the City; that’s what three generations means. I am so happy that I live in Irvine, and that my daughter lives nearby,” says the Turtle Ridge resident. She and her late husband, Warren, bought their first house in The Ranch and were married in June 1970.
Before incorporation, the family mail was stamped through the Santa Ana post office. Her daughter, Stacey, husband Jeremy, and 4-year-old Mary live in the second Williams’ home; Tina sold her Northwood home to the couple in 2005. “The promise made to me was that this planned community, these villages, worked so wonderfully well,” says the enthusiastic hiker and bicyclist. “You get to know people. I also like the rules. You know that you can count on your neighborhood.”
While life moves forward and children become parents and cities mature, many things remain the same. Tina Williams recalls daily outings with her then young daughter to the county’s William R. Mason Regional Park for play dates on the geodesic-dome play structure.
Today, grandmother and granddaughter have frequent outings to Turtle Rock Community Park, to enjoy the Nature Center and the ducks. Irvine offered much to Tina and Warren Williams when they were a young couple starting out. The City drew thousands of families looking for the ideal place to grow, live, learn, work and play. Where her daughter went to school, her granddaughter will follow suit.
Where public safety became a City Council initiative, the label as the nation’s Safest City soon followed. “It’s still that way, after all these years,” she says. “And, I love the open space.”
One can find Tina Williams hiking in her favorite spot—Bommer Canyon—as well as other nearby area icons, such as Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Crystal Cove, Limestone Canyon and Weir Canyon. Bicyclists might find her pedaling through Shady Canyon on a 23-mile circular route or taking the San Diego Creek bike trail to the Back Bay.
As for the future? “We’re all focused on the exciting Orange County Great Park,” she says. “And the emphasis on the schools, because education is such a big deal. And, the cultural diversity. I would love to see my granddaughter stay here.
“My best memory now is when I get up in the morning and look out at Bommer Canyon. Sometimes, I mist up.”
Her Turtle Ridge house echoes her Irvine experience. She recalls looking for the perfect place, in her favorite community, in which to live. “When I sat in that house for the first time, I realized, ‘I’m home.’”
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