Leanore May Vlastelica, known to most of us as Lea (pronounced Lee), passed on October 26, 2017 in San Jose, California. Lea passed, as she lived, in accordance with her wishes and without prolonged illness or pain. Lea has lived in Gilroy, CA for the past four years, though she spent over 50 years in San Jose, CA, as well as ten years in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Lea, the widow of Ronald Vlastelica for 44 years and life partner of Stan Zafaran for 19 years, was the loving mother of five children, ten grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and three 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 those books, and traveling the world to learn, experience and understand new things. Lea was a firm believer in making the world a better place, through both actions and funding (time and/or money) of those organizations that improved the quality of life for both people and animals. Her insights, passion for all living animals, protection of our environment and world, generosity to countless charities to improve Native Americans, disadvantaged women and children will be sorely missed.
In her memory, if you wish to offer donations versus flowers, please do so towards one of her favorite charities: WorldWildlife Fund, SouthWest Indian Council, or Ocean Conservatory.
The family thanks you in advance for your contributions.
Ron, Lynn, Rich, Greg and Linda Vlastelia.
Online condolences at www.habingfamilyfuneralhome.com