Caesar Louis Cuneo was born on the western Petaluma family farm on July 25, 1924 and died there April 16, 2014. He was a member of a great generation that endured hardships as individuals for the betterment of all. As a young man he helped his father transition from horses to tractors while striving to produce quality produce. He served in the 343rd bomb squadron during World War II as a B24 engineer and gunner; his efforts were recognized with the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross and other citations. Caesar attended agricultural-related training at University of California, Davis. Caesar was married to his loving wife, Mary Cuneo, from 1949 until her passing in 1995. He worked in the landscaping and maintenance departments of the City of Petaluma and the Old Adobe School District, for many years, retiring in the late 1980s. Working on his farm with his family was a lifelong outlet for his creativity, generosity and productivity. With a love for his land and a disdain for gophers he took much pride in the development and production of premium vegetables, marketed under the label of C.L. Cuneo Produce. Caesar's friends have described him as a hard worker, humble servant, a good husband, and a contributing citizen with a strong moral code. He was a past president of the Italian Catholic Federation, Native Sons of the Golden West, Young Men's Institute, Sons In Retirement, California Schools Employee Association (CSEA) and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau. Towards the end of his life Caesar dealt with age-related challenges, most notably Parkinson's disease and stroke complications. Caesar is survived by his children: Susan (Rick) Cowperthwaite, Frank Cuneo, Larry (Pat) Cuneo, Teresa (Tim) McCallister, Paul (Tina) Cuneo, Jean Cuneo-(Jerry) Bordessa, Marie (Michael) Csitos, Christine (Randy) Carpenter. Caesar was the proud grandfather of: Kelly & Lauren, Tom and Leslie Cuneo, Cerena Davidson, Louis Cuneo-Bordessa, Zimri Mendonca, Elizabeth, David and Ashley Barefield. Caesar was preceded in death by his sisters: Evelyn O'Rourke, Claudia DiCamillo, and Inez Zurawski and his eldest son Stephen. Caesar was uncle to numerous nieces and nephews. Caesar was a faithful servant of God and was a member of the Catholic Church. Visitation will be held Thursday, April 24, 2014, 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory, 850 Keokuk Street, Petaluma, with a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. A funeral mass will be held Friday, April 25, 2014 commencing at 11:00 a.m. at Saint James Catholic Church, 125 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma. Persons wanting to make donations in memory of Caesar may do so by sharing with Saint Vincent and Saint James Catholic Churches.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Apr. 20 to Apr. 24, 2014