Leanore May Vlastelica, known to most of us as Lea [pronounced Lee], passed on October 26th in San Jose, California.
Lea was most recently a resident in Gilroy, CA, though she spent over 50 years in San Jose, CA, as well as 10 years in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Lea, the widow of Ronald Vlastelica for 44 years and life partner of Stan Szafran for 19 years, was the loving mother of 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren.
Lea was born as Leanore May Russell in Goodyear, Arizona as the eldest of two daughters of Darce and Nellie [Brown] Russell. She spent her first 13 years between Arizona and the greater Salinas area. She attended both San Jose High School as well as San Jose State University [College].
Lea was a committed citizen of the world and was very active in a wealth of efforts and charities. These commitments ranged from building St John Vianney's school and parish, to driving the creation of Happy Hollow Park, the education and awareness program for the Happy Hollow Zoo, and her many years in running the San Jose State Foreign Student House. She gave of herself to all those she knew.
Lea was also an avid life-long learner. Lea never stopped loving to read, discussing books, traveling the world to learn, enjoying new experiences and a real thirst to understand new things. Lea was a firm believer in making the world a better place - through both actions and funding (time and/or money) to those organizations that improved the quality of life for both people and animals.
Her insights and passion for all living animals, protection of our environment and the world serves as a role model for us all. In addition her generosity to countless charities to improve native americans, disadvantaged women and children will be sorely missed.
Lea loved nothing more than chatting with folks about history, the world, travel adventures and politics. Her passion, intellect and love for conversation has left many of us with warm memories.
The family will be hosting a small gathering on November 11th to celebrate Lea's life and the wonderful memories and guidance she provided us all. Please utilize this site for current information, as they become available, on the details of this celebration of life.