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Edith Mattos Lewis Walter

Obituary Condolences Gallery

Edith Mattos Lewis Walter Obituary
Edith Mattos Lewis Walter
June 16, 1924 - January 14, 2014
Life long resident of San Jose
Surrounded by her loving family, Edith entered into eternal life after a valiant sixteen month battle with lung cancer. She believed deeply in family, friends, faith, community, and service above self.
Born to Rose and Manuel Mattos, she was the youngest child, only daughter of five and last survivor of the family including four older brothers: Alfred (Judy, Dolores, Beth), Joseph (Mabel), Manuel, Henry (Kay, Mabel). As a third generation Californian, Edith treasured history and the importance of taking care of the Earth. On the family farm, she learned how to grow and preserve the crops, tend to the animals, cook, sew, and create beauty out of ordinary things.
Edith attended Orchard Elementary School skipping a grade, Roosevelt Jr. High, and San Jose High School. She attended Heald's Business College where she joined Alpha Iota Business sorority and graduated with highest honors. She was chosen right out of college to work for Attorney Clark Bradley and with the outbreak of World War II, she went to work as a secretary at Hendy Ironworks also working the night Victory shift at Chevy Chase Cannery. She was a member of "the greatest generation" proudly helping out her country on the Home Front. Three of her brothers were in the army, and she faithfully wrote to each one and several family friends including Tony Lewis. She volunteered at the USO and knit socks for the soldiers all while working two jobs from 8 to midnight daily.
In October when the war was over, Tony returned to San Jose where he ran into Edith at an IES bingo game. Noticing that she was all grown up and quite beautiful, he bet that if she won the next game, he could come for dinner. She won and that began a whirlwind romance. They were engaged on Christmas Eve and married May 19, 1946. They bought their first and only home in Willow Glen where they raised three daughters: Carolyn (Marilyn Radisch), Margaret Rodrigues (Richard), Judy Barnhart (Mike). They also had five grandchildren; Laura Meusel (Rob), Carrie Jackson (Eric), the late Brian Rodrigues, Stephen Johnson (Denise), and Megan Simmons (Tyler), and five great grandchildren; Cole and Caitlin Meusel, Finn and Sienna Jackson, and Riley Johnson. Many holidays, vacations and special occasions were spent with their closest friends who became family; the late George and late Shirley Hanson and daughter Dr. Brenda Hanson-Smith (T.J.) and children Kari and Victor. She also had many nieces, nephews, cousins and god-children.
Tony and Edith belonged to numerous service and fraternal organizations becoming president of each club: the Young Ladies Institute St. Rita's #81 and St Lucy's; Life member of the Willow Glen Elementary School PTA, San Jose Hospital Auxiliary, California Pioneers, Docent at San Jose History Park, Board of Directors of the Portuguese Heritage Museum, Portraits of the Past (Historic fashion shows), Milpitas Historical Society, St. Christopher's Ladies Guild and Over 50's Club, Founding member of "Keep the Spirit of '45 ALIVE!", Stories of Service, past First Lady of San Jose Elks Lodge #522, St. Elizabeth Day Home Auxiliary, San Jose State Spartan Foundation, and the San Jose Elks Spinners. She has also been YLI past Grand Marshall and a three time District Deputy.
In 1980, Edith's life was devastated with the sudden passing of her beloved husband, Anthony J. "Tony" Lewis who was a long time business and community leader. Joseph Walter, a long- time family friend found love again with Edith, three years later after the passing of his devoted wife, Ruth. They had a deep bond and supported each other's passions. Joe and Edith had a special smile for each other and were always seen holding hands. They traveled the world and enjoyed thirty happy and blessed years together as husband and wife. Joe and Edith enjoyed servicing their community by participating in historic reenactments at History Park San Jose, and in organizations such as the Willow Glen Kiwanis, B.P.O.E. San Jose Elks, and Y.M.I.
More children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were added to this clan: the late Patti Jo Walter, Robert, and Barry (Holly) came with grandchildren: Genene Vaccaro, Aaron (Ellen), the late Amy Walter, Andrea Walter, and Allison Parson (Staff Sgt. Charlie), Shaina (Matt), and Cara (Tiffany). Great grandchildren now totaled thirteen: Jenna and Mason Vaccaro; Nathan, Ella, Garrett, Kate, Easton Walter; Blake Walter; and Mariah and Charlie Parson.
Edith's family would like to thank her many doctors who helped her live a good last sixteen months especially Dr. Victor Corsiglia, Dr. Peter Galatin and Dr. Joel Neal. Her family would also like to thank the incredible team from Hospice of the Valley for all of their support for the last two weeks. Her many friends, neighbors, family, and organizations were continually supportive of her until the end of her life. Many visiting on her last two days of life. She leaves behind a legacy of love and light.
A prayer vigil will be held on Sunday, January 19, at Willow Glen Mortuary 1039 Lincoln Ave. at 7:30pm. There will be a Catholic Funeral Mass on Monday, January 20 at 10:00AM at St. Christopher's Church, 1576 Curtner Avenue, San Jose followed by a Celebration of Life luncheon at Villa Ragosa, 35 S. 2nd Street, Campbell, CA. Tuesday at 9:30 AM will be a burial at Calvary Cemetery, 2655A Madden Avenue, San Jose.
In lieu of flower memorials the family requests donations be made in Edith's name to "Keep the Spirit of '45 ALIVE!",1650 Senter Road, San Jose, CA 95112. Willow Glen Kiwanis - Anthony (Tony) Lewis Memorial Scholarship. The American Cancer Society. The Hospice of the Valley San Jose, 4850 Union Ave, San Jose, CA 95124.

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Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 17, 2014
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