On June 29th, Elda Anne Blicharz passed peacefully into the presence of her Maker, from her Lockeford home.
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Elda was born in Sandpoint, Idaho to Nathan Beach Smothers and Harriet Anne Bisbee Smothers. She is survived by one sister: Elizabeth Jane Schulze; one brother: Nathan Beach Smothers Jr.; eight children: Carl Blicharz (Kat), Mike Blicharz (Kathy), Paul Blicharz (Linda), David Blicharz (Sara), Terry Blicharz, Nina Chandler, Claire Tyson (Jerry), and Mark Blicharz; 12 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
Elda lived a full life and enjoyed serving her Church and others. As a young woman, she met and married Walter F. Blicharz (late), had eight children and moved to California. After her children were grown, she returned to school and at age 55 graduated with honors from San Joaquin Delta College, earning an Associate of Arts degree in Food Service Management, and recognition for being the oldest in her graduating class. After many years of food preparation she retired from LaSalette Nursing Home in Stockton.
Until her recent illness, Elda had been actively involved with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, passing on her love of God, Polish recipes, and sharing much wisdom to the younger generations of her growing family.
Her service through St. Joachim's Catholic Church in Lockeford included her position as Eucharistic minister where she faithfully served communion to parishioners who were unable to attend Masses. One of her church friends shared that "Elda was one of our little angels at the church. She will surely be missed."
Elda chose to continue to serve in her death, as her remains have been donated to UCSF for use in their educational program.
A memorial service was held on Monday, July 2nd, at Saint Joachim's Catholic Church in Lockeford. Donations in her name may be made to Saint Joachim's Catholic Church Building Fund and Saint Mary's Rosary Makers in Kentucky.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from July 3 to July 10, 2012