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Elizabeth Baleria

1918 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Elizabeth Baleria Obituary

Elizabeth Baleria

Elizabeth Baleria, 95, of Castroville, passed away Saturday, April 5, 2014. She was born Dec. 29, 1918, in Paderno del Grappa, Italy.

Elizabeth was seven when her mother died. Her uncles sponsored her move to America when she was fifteen (1934). She traveled by ship, (The S.S. Saturnia) and then for three days on a train from New York to live with family in Klamath Falls, OR.

In Klamath Falls, she attended school quickly learning English. As a young woman, she showed her exuberance for life while enjoying baseball, basketball and learning how to milk cows on her uncle's dairy.

Dec. 3, 1940, Elizabeth married John Pesce. He worked in a lumber mill and she worked in the local bakery. Two years later, she gave birth to their daughter, Annette.

In 1952, the family moved from Oregon to Castroville. Elizabeth and her husband purchased the Castroville-Moss Landing Garbage Company, as well as the Twin Bridges camping and boating resort near the mouth of the Salinas River.

In 1967, her beloved John passed away after sharing 27 years of marriage. She then worked for the Giant Artichoke in Castroville. She enjoyed produce sales and visiting with the tourists that came to Castroville. Her greatest rewards were the Castroville teenagers who worked with her.

She met Phil Baleria at the Giant Artichoke. They both were from Italy and after dating five years they married in Carson City, NV. They traveled many times to Italy visiting with family in Salto, Milan and Torino. Phil passed away after 15 years of marriage. Elizabeth continued traveling around the United States with close friends from Castroville and San Jose.

Throughout her life Elizabeth was a devoted Catholic and a faithful parishioner of Our Lady of Refuge Church in Castroville. She spent many years volunteering at the Church Ham Dinner, in the Altar Society, Italian Catholic Group, the Castroville Club, and with the Hand and Foot card players.

Elizabeth's love was unconditional to her husbands, her daughter, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren; as well as her close friends. She was well known for her gnocchi, cooking, crocheting blankets and booties, and loved gardening.

She was preceded in death by husbands, John Pesce and Phil Baleria; as well as grandson, Jon Boehning.

She is survived by her daughter, Annette Pesce Harris and son-in-law, Jim Harris of Prunedale; grandchildren, Jerrett Boehning (wife, Natacha), Jon's wife Dawn Boehning, Craig Harris, Ann Harris Hudson, James Harris (wife, Rebecca); as well as 16 great-grandchildren; and several great-great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass will be held for Elizabeth on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church located at 11140 Preston St., Castroville. It will be followed immediately by internment in the Castroville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, may be made to VNA Hospice, 5 Lower Ragsdale Dr., Monterey, CA 93940, Friends of the Andy Ausonio Library, 11160 Speegle St., Castroville, CA 95012 or donor's favorite charity.

Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home.

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Published in The Salinas Californian on Apr. 11, 2014
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