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09/23/2010

Twilight ceremony honors those who died at Camarillo State Hospital

September 23, 2010 | 11:25 am

About 100 people attended a twilight ceremony Monday at Cal State Channel Islands to observe an annual Remembrance Day, one of about 10 ceremonies held around California to honor those who have died in state institutions.

It was the first time the event was held on the campus, which is on the former grounds of Camarillo State Hospital. More than 1,000 people died at the institution -- of both natural and suspicious causes -- during its last 30 years of operation, according to a Ventura County Star article on the event. The hospital closed in 1997.

Tim Dugan of Portland, Ore., caught a plane at the last minute and came to “make peace” with the death of his father, David, who died at the hospital at 36 in 1974.

“It was good,” Dugan told the Star after the ceremony. “I’m in the process of discovering my father’s history and his brief life.”

-- Valerie J. Nelson

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