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Charles Louis Modena
January 16, 1914 - May 6, 2013
Resident of Santa Cruz
Our Dearest Dad, Charlie, died peacefully with family at his bedside after a very brief illness.
He was born at home on a beautiful ranch in San Gregorio, California to Carlo and Sylvia Modena, who were originally from Lucca, Italy. He was the youngest of five children.
He relocated to Santa Cruz upon his marriage to his wife, Theresa. It was in Santa Cruz where they raised their two children, Charlene and Fred and lived happily for more than seventy years.
He was in the military Army Corp of Engineers during WWII and was discharged in August 1943. He was a member of the
, The Marconi Club and the ICF of Santa Cruz.
He acquired Santa Cruz Distributing Company in the 1950's and sold the company in 1998. It was one of the first independent trucking companies in Santa Cruz.
Charlie was a lover of life, a great story teller and was happiest when surrounded by family, friends and his hunting dogs. His interests were endless and so many things brought him joy: His love of family history, cooking family recipes, gathering wild mushrooms, award winning wine making, canning, gardening, grafting fruit trees, hunting, fishing, and traveling, especially to Italy. He really was the keeper of the family flame. Never to be forgotten is the organic strawberry wine made by our Mom and Dad when they were well into their seventies. He loved making summertime root beer floats and used his artistic talents to keep his small children entertained for hours. Who can forget his love for Kitto, the family cat, who shared his life and easy chair for more than 20 years.
He is preceded in death by his wife of seventy years, Theresa Dimeo Modena who passed away in 2010 and is also survived by his children: Charlene and Fred; Daughter in law, Lia Modena; Two grandchildren, Lisa and Eric Modena; and three great grandchildren, Isabel, Lance and Cedric Modena and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would also like to thank devoted caregivers, Sylvia Soper, Marissa Alvarez, Pam Smith, Viveca Vega and grandson, Eric Modena.
Papa Charlie's passing leaves a huge emptiness in the lives of family and friends. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him and whose lives he has touched and enriched.
Dad, give everyone a hug for us.
Friends are invited to a visitation beginning at 9 AM on Saturday May 18, 2013 at the Oakwood Memorial Chapel 3301 Paul Sweet Road in Santa Cruz. Funeral Mass begins at 11:00 AM with a graveside committal to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery 2271 7th Ave Santa Cruz.
A reception following will be held at the Elks Lodge 150 Jewell Street Santa Cruz.
If you would like to offer condolences to Charlie's family, share your memories and light a candle in his memory please visit
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on May 16, 2013
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"Hi Dad, it has been one day since your "Gone to Heaven" day,..."
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- jeffrey scargill
"Charlie you will so be missed. Some of my best childhood..."
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