Maria Gonzalez added personal touch to Tom’s Depot

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Courtesy of Rick Arnold
Maria Gonzalez of Tom’s Depot died unexpectedly Nov. 6.

As the most visible face of Tom’s Depot, co-owner Maria Isabel Rios-Gonzalez enjoyed a friendly rapport with her customers. In fact, she treated them like family.

Kathryn (Kay) Lessing

KathrynLessing onlineResident of Los Altos & The Forum at Rancho San Antonio

On Saturday, October 24, Kathryn Lessing, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at the age of 96. Kathryn was born and raised in Ashkum, Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois where she met her husband, Henry (Hank) Lessing. After graduating, she taught high school English in Sheldon, Illinois. Married in 1948, the newlyweds moved to California where Kathryn worked at NACA (now known as NASA) as a “Engineering Computer”. Later in life, she became a librarian at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Cupertino, California. 

Kathryn’s brilliance, grace, elegance, and beauty were always visible through her smiling eyes. She created a warm and loving home. She was fond of flowers and gardening. She often planned cocktail/dinner parties, bridge games, outings with her “Out-to-Lunch-Bunch,” weekend get-a-ways, family vacations, family reunions, and holiday gatherings. Kay enjoyed researching genealogy, reading the newspaper, dancing with Hank, and spending time with family and friends. 

John Lejardi

JohnLejardi onlineJohn Lejardi died on November 13, 2020 at the age of 98. Born in Boise, Idaho to Pedro and Petra, Basque immigrants from Spain, he was the youngest of four children. During college, he obtained his private pilot’s license and then enlisted in the US Army Air Corp during WW II, serving from 1943-1946. After the war, he finished earning his Business Administration degree from the University of Portland and then obtained his MBA from Stanford University in 1949.  At the Catholic Newman Club on campus, he met the love of his life, Florence, a feisty Italian, who was earning her teaching credential and studying music. In 1952, they married and settled in Los Altos, where they raised three children. John worked as a CPA for his entire career.  John loved the outdoors, and taking his family on camping, fly- fishing and skiing trips. The life of the party with a great sense of humor, he enjoyed dancing, singing, hosting barbeques, playing cards, and making his signature sherry flips for holidays. After retirement, he and Florence traveled extensively throughout Europe, Canada and the US. He cherished his role as “Gpa” (short for Grandpa) and had just as much fun as his grandsons, whether camping or taking them trick or treating. John became a most amazing caregiver for Florence in her last years.  After she died in 2010, he joined the gym at 88 and worked out regularly until 95. 

Diana Hawley Thomas

DianaHawley onlineDiana was the rare individual who, once she decided what she wanted, could accomplish most anything. She was most of all the perfect mother and wife, but she squeezed so much more into her life. Her greatest dream was to have children and raise them to be productive, loving people. She succeeded beyond expectation with Chad, Devon, and Katrina. Diana was the life partner of her husband Stan, whom she met when they were 16, and were never apart (save three years of Navy duty for Stan). 

She was the most stalwart of friends to so many – if a friend needed help, Diana was always there to provide it. She had an innate sense of what might be wrong and always clear ideas on how to proceed. Not only did she care for family and friends, she also worked for 40 years as a speech and language pathologist specializing in head trauma and stroke. She had the special ability through non-verbal communication, a high amount of empathy, and years of experience to reach a patient on a basic level, and then find a way to bring them therapy that would allow their recovery. Many of her patients became long-term friends.

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