Grete Santucci (Gullikstad), loving wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at age 62. Preceded in death by her Pappa Magnus Gullikstad, Grete is survived by Joe, her husband of 40 years; children Kristoffer, Monika and Andreas; mother Inger (Solli) Gullikstad, sisters Berit and Anne Marie and their families. Grete was born on Lille Julaften ‘Little Christmas Eve’ December 23,1956, in Sandvika Bærum, Norway. She attended elementary and secondary schools: Evje, Gjettum and Hauger. In 1978 she traveled to New York, and met her future husband on a blind date with friends. Some months later, Grete returned to Oslo to work for a television station. Joe visited a few times and at Christmas gave her a ring. They were married on March 17,1979, in a tiny church built in A.D. 1111 in Tanum, Norway, and returned to New York to start their life together.
Grete graduated from Westchester Community College and was recruited by Bankers Trust in their foreign lending department. Grete & Joe relocated to California in 1982 where she worked for Mutual of New York in the Palo Alto Money Building. She subsequently graduated (cum laude) from San Jose State University with a degree in Accounting. When the children were all teens, she began her12-year career helping educate children, first at Loyola School library and then at Las Lomitas Elementary, in the ESL Department, where she worked until her illness. Los Altos was home for more than 36 years. Family was at the forefront of Grete’s life. She was dedicated to her children and treasured her years as a stay at home mom and community volunteer. Creative work brought her much joy – an accomplished seamstress, quilter, and artist. She knit, made beautiful felted bags, beaded jewelry, painted with water colors, cooked and created an incredible garden. She was passionate about color & texture, much inspired by the beauty of nature & the outdoors. A consummate traveler on 2 continents, her favorite places were in Norway, Italy and California. She was an outstanding skier, a backpacker, and an avid (and fast) walker. She made a difference in the community and touched many lives. Grete was blessed and grateful for the love and support that sustained her through her cancer journey. To her last days, she lived life with amazing strength and grace. Her love and friendship will be greatly missed by all who knew and admired her. She will be remembered for her infectious smile, quick wit and compassionate spirit. A true gem. A service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, donations would be gratefully accepted to “Cycle For Survival” (https://www.cycleforsurvival.org/), where you can support the movement to beat rare cancers.