Richard F. Ortiz
Richard F. Ortiz died Sunday, April 18, 2004, in Gilroy, at the age of 60.
A native of Sunnyvale, he was an honest and hard working man.
He was the father of Patrick, Julie and Leonard Ortiz; grandfather of Steven and Jamie Ortiz and Aaron Wade; son of the late Candida and Angelo Ortiz; brother of Juanita Nilmeyer and her husband, Gary; uncle of David, Donald, Debbie and Donna Nilmeyer. He also is survived by several great nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorial Services are at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Habing Family Funeral Home, Gilroy. Contributions to help the family with burial expenses would be appreciated.
Sara Nelson, who served on Gilroy’s City Council from 1987-91, died at her Coos Bay, Oregon, home Monday morning. She was 61.
Nelson campaigned successfully against creating a redevelopment agency in the city of Gilroy and was an outspoken member of the City Council.
Born in Long Beach, Nelson grew up in Pacific Grove. She lived in San Francisco and San Jose before moving to GIlroy with her husband, Stan, in 1984. They lived in the city for about 10 years before moving to Oregon.
“She was the only Christian conservative on the council,” Stan Nelson said. “She took a stand in the things she believed in. She studied issues thoroughly and had her mind made up about them.”
Longtime friend Ben Gilmore remembers her as an informed member of the city council.
“I was very impressed with her speed reading skills,” he said. “She would read through the thick agenda before each city council meeting. She knew what she was talking about.”
Though her political views were not always the most popular, she is remembered fondly for having the courage of her convictions.
“She offered another side of things that most people would not have seen,” said County Supervisor Don Gage, who was mayor at the time. “I had a lot of respect for her. I didn’t always agree with her on issues, but I agreed with her enthusiasm and her tenacity.”
For about nine years after moving to Oregon, Nelson struggled with circulation problems in her leg that necessitated a series of major pioneering vascular surgery. She died away at Baycrest Village, a nursing center in Oregon.
In addition to her participation in the city council, Nelson was also a secretary with a used-auto dealership, a manager of a rental unit and a housewife.
“You know it’s going to happen, but you’re still surprised when it does,” said Stan Nelson.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by sons, Stefan, 45, who lives in Monterey; Mark, 44, and Daniel, 42, both of whom live in Hood River, Oregon; and Sean, 29, who is currently a civilian contractor in Iraq.
Services will be held 1 p.m., Saturday, April 24, at Hope Covenant Reform Church, 580 E. 9th St. , Coquille, Oregon.
Darlene Hindiyeh died April 22, 2004, in Gilroy at the age of 82.
Darlene was a devout Southern Baptist Christian and spent many years overseas as a missionary and theologian.
She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Omar Hindiyeh of San Martin; children Omar and his wife Patti of Livermore, Sami and his wife Janet of Mission Viejo and Diane of San Jose; grandchildren Kristen, Kaitlyn, Jordan and Alana; and her sister Betty Webb of Orange, Texas.
A viewing takes place 6-8 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Habing Family Funeral Home, Gilroy. A memorial service will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at First Baptist Church, Gilroy.
Private family burial will be at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park.
The family asks that any donations be made to First Baptist Church, Gilroy.
Susie Marie Cummins
Susie Marie Cummins died April 19, 2004.
She was born August 8, 1927, in Prattville, Ala. She was strong of heart and strong of faith, family members said.
She is survived by her children Samuel, Donald and Lydia; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 985 Barrett Ave.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.
James John Merenda
James John Merenda died Friday, April 23, 2004, at his home.
Before his retirement, James was employed by Gilroy Lumber Co. for 30 years, a World War II veteran, and an active member and past comm-ander of American Legion Post 669.
James had a passion for golf and was very active at the local golf course participating in numerous tournaments.
James had a love for sports and was a dedicated 49er faithful, he also volunteered for Special Olympics and was a past member of The Knights of Columbus. James was very well known in the community and will be missed by all who knew him.
James and his loving wife, Mercedes, had just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on Thursday, April 22. He also is survived by his son James Frank Merenda and daughter-in-law, Annette Merenda; grandchildren Jamie Merenda, Kathy Merenda-Horton, Angel Fox, Jimmy Peterson; and 11 great grandchildren. James was the brother to Joseph Merenda, Rose Caruso, Sue Serafin and Angie Kellar and uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by granddaughter Julie Haakinson.
Vigil Services will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, at Habing Family Funeral Home, Gilroy. Services will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 29, at the funeral home, then to St. Mary's Church for a Funeral Mass at 10. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery, Gilroy.
Mercedes Anne Merenda
Mercedes Anne Merenda died June 22, 2004, at Santa Teresa Community Hospital, surrounded by her family and close friends. She will truly be missed by her family and many, many close friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, James J. Merenda.
Mercedes is survived by her son, James F. Merenda and daughter-in-law Annette Merenda; grandchildren Jamie Merenda, Kathy Merenda Horton, Jimmy Peterson and Angel Fox; 12 great-grandchildren, godchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mercedes came from a large family and leaves behind the last surviving sisters, Nori Goforth and Jackie Elliott; sisters-in-law Sue Serafin, Rose Caruso, Angie Kellar and Alice Merenda; and brothers-in-law Joseph Merenda and Leo Goforth.
Mercedes was of Portuguese decent and born in Atwater, on Oct. 28, 1923. She was a devout Roman Catholic and a member of St. Mary's Parish.
In her earlier years, Mercedes was active in bridge club and was very involved in her son's sports activities from grammar school through college. She and her husband were stout 49ers fans and held season tickets for many years. Mercedes enjoyed monthly luncheons with her sister Nori, nieces and close friends. She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed gardening with her husband.
Holidays were very important to Mercedes and she treasured the Christmas season, as she very much looked forward to her family coming from near and far to celebrate the holiday season.
Vigil Service will be at Habing Family Funeral Home at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27. On Monday there will be a Funeral Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church at 1 p.m., followed by interment at St. Mary Cemetery. After the cemetery services there will be a “Celebration of Life” reception at the VFW Hall in Gilroy, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Nicholson, loving friends of Mercedes.