Sad news: why the San Antonio Heights star will shine an extra day this year

The bright star that has shined from its perch during the holidays in San Antonio Heights since 1968 will be lit an extra day this season.

The move honors George Hostetler, the man who started the holiday custom when he created the first star in the late 1960s.

George Hostetler, 84, died Dec. 20 at a Rancho Cucamonga board and care facility of complications related to Parkinson’s disease, his son, Karl Hostetler, said.

A memorial service is planned for 4 p.m., Jan. 7 at Upland Brethren in Christ Church, 845 W. Arrow Highway in Upland.

George Hostetler was born in North Florence, Ohio on April 28, 1932. He was the seventh of Eli and Lydia Hostetler’s nine children.

George Hostetler was living in eastern Pennsylvania and attending college in the early 1950s when he traveled to Upland and enrolled in the now-closed Upland College.

The younger Hostetler said his father came to Upland to follow the woman who would become his mother. He earned a degree in education and went on to teach school for a few years before changing careers, his son said.

“He became a contractor and built houses,” Karl Hostetler said. “He built the house the star was on.”

The land at the very tip of Euclid Avenue was inexpensive because it was hard to reach at the time, his son said. So his dad built a road to the house that started out with four rooms and gradually grew.

From the house the family had a view of the valley’s lights for miles.

“You could see right down the…

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