Lillian Anne Gularte passed away on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 after a lengthy illness.
She was born on September 25, 1931 to Lillian and Frank Corda and raised on the Rincon Dairy at the Corda Ranch near Gonzales, surrounded by cows and her two younger sisters, Lorraine and Janice. She was a fourth generation, life-long resident of the Frank Corda Ranch. When she was 13, she met her future husband, Ray, at a campfire at Arroyo Seco. They started dating a year later while they were at-tending Gonzales High School. They were both active in 4H for many years, and were county All Stars together.
Lillian and Ray were married on August 24, 1952 while he was in the Navy and she at San Jose State. She graduated from SJS with degrees in Home Economics and Business in 1953. Lillian briefly worked for Bell Telephone Company in Salinas while Ray served on a ship during the Korean War.
Lillian was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker. She enjoyed swimming, sewing, gardening, playing pedro with her friends, and was a voracious reader. She volunteered at VNA fundraisers for many years and modeled in many fashion shows. She was a 4-H project leader and volunteer, and supported Gonzales 4-H and FFA her entire adult life.
Lillian judged baked goods and she and Ray volunteered as livestock buyers at the Salinas Valley and Monterey County Fairs for many years and were honored for their dedication and service. She loved to travel, especially many tours all over Europe in Ray’s Ford Model T that he kept from High School days. Lillian was a life-long parishioner of St. Theodore Catholic Church in Gonzales and attended mass every Saturday night until she could not physically do so.
She was elegant, playful and dearly loved her children and grand-children. Her strength as a cancer patient and survivor was inspirational. She was the family anchor, and her home and garden were the gathering place for holidays.
Lillian is survived by her husband of 67 years, Ray, her sons Aron (Nancy) of Visalia, Rob (Susie) of Gonzales, and Wayne (Doris) of Salinas; as well as her grandchildren, Nicholas (Nadira), Louis, Anna (Abel), Sarah (Richard), Julia (Klynton), Jynel, and Lukas and great granddaughters Zoey and Anissa, her sisters Lorraine Klingborg and Janice (Ron) Johnson, her aunt Roeine Lanini, many cousins, nephews, and other beloved family members and friends. She was especially blessed by time spent with her loving caregivers Dawn Piearce and Karla Lara, who with their humor and kindness made her final years enjoyable.
A Rosary will be recited on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 6:30 PM at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Gonzales. The Funeral mass will be held Friday, September 20, 2019 at 11:00 AM, also at St. Theodore Catholic Church, followed by graveside services at the Gonzales Cemetery and a reception at the St. Theodore Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to California 4H programs on the web at WeLove4-H.com, the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA), or donor’s favorite charity.
Funeral Arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home.
Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com