Eleanor Mary Strazzo

January 15, 1931 - February 18, 2024
Pink Flowers

Eleanor Mary Strazzo

Our dearest mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Eleanor Mary Strazzo (Traversi) of Fair Oaks California, sadly passed away on Sunday, February 18, 2024, at the age of 93. She was predeceased by her father Louis Traversi, mother Mary Traversi, and brother Richard Traversi.

Eleanor was born at Mater Misericordiae Hospital, now Mercy General Hospital, in Sacramento, CA on January 15, 1931. She grew up in Bryte (now West Sacramento), where she enjoyed playing with her brother Richard, sister Elizabeth, and their friends on the family’s farm with its chickens and rabbits and gardens, which produced a variety of fruits and vegetables. In 1949, she graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Sacramento where she was elected Treasurer of the Student Council in her senior year. She then attended Sacramento City college, where she met Boyd “Mickey” Strazzo, her future husband. She was a member of the Alpha Sigma Sorority and graduated in 1951. Ultimately, she graduated from Sacramento State College in January 1962, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Laboratory Technology – after giving birth to three rambunctious boys!

Eleanor, forever a loving and devoted wife, and Mickey were married in 1952 in Carmel, California and began raising their family in Broderick (now West Sacramento). They were members of Holy Cross Church in Bryte and helped build the school, one wing of which served as the church for Mass and other holy services until the new church was built in the early 1960s. In 1968, the family moved to Fair Oaks, CA, and became members of St. Mel Church. Eleanor and Mickey believed in the importance of a Catholic education and sacrificed much to ensure this legacy. All five of their children went through grammar school at either Holy Cross or St. Mel. After graduating from grammar school, the four boys – Michael, Timothy, Richard, and Robert – attended Jesuit High School, and their daughter, Kathleen, attended Mercy High School until it closed her senior year. Eleanor and Mickey were absolutely devoted to their Catholic faith and attended daily Mass at St. Mel Church for many years until recently adjusting to a weekly schedule.

Eleanor didn’t take much of a break after earning her BS degree in early 1962, and quickly began her professional career as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist with Sacramento Clinical Laboratories, which was later bought by Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. Her bacteriology and hematology skills and dedication earned her a certificate in 1987, that recognized her 25 years of continuous and loyal service with the company that by then had become Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. In 1993, she retired from Met West, which bought Roche, thus ending her career of 31 years.

Throughout her long life, family occupied her every thought and activity. She was a wonderful mother who was always there for her kids whenever the need arose. Religiously, she said a prayer every night for not only each of her children, but also for all her large and extended family. Whether on the countless camping trips with her kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and extended family and friends, or the annual retreats to cabins around Lake Tahoe, or day trips to the lakes, parks, and rivers in Northern California, she delighted in our company, and we in hers. Because of her large immediate and extended family, there were numerous celebrations for weddings, baptisms, birthdays, graduations, mother’s and father’s days, July 4ths, Christmas’s, Easters, Thanksgivings and just about any other reason to come together. With her loving smile and warm embrace, she always made sure everyone who attended the festivities felt welcome and appreciated.

Eleanor was especially fond of food and foliage. She was an excellent cook and specialized in delicious Italian dishes. The frequent pasta and ravioli-making parties were made even more special with the inclusion of her Italian family recipes complete with home-made pasta and special alfredo and marinera sauces made from scratch. Her cookbook collection ranged from Betty Crocker to Biba Caggiano, which also was her favorite Sacramento restaurant. She even claimed to have perfected Biba’s famous 10-layer Lasagne Verdi alla Bolognese, with nobody disputing the assertion – it was that good! And finally, no family party was complete without her famous potato salads! She also loved flowers, particularly orchids and roses, of which she had many.

Until her last days, Eleanor generously contributed to many charities including St. Mel Church, Loaves and Fishes, The Coming Home Network, National Catholic Charities, Clara’s House, KVIE, Sacramento Food Bank, American Red Cross, and several others. She was a beautiful person who spread joy, wisdom, comfort, and happiness to whomever she met and wherever she went. In lieu of flowers we invite you to donate to a charity of your choice in Eleanor’s honor.

Eleanor is survived by Mickey, her husband of 71 years, sons Michael and wife Phyllis Marquez, Timothy and wife Colleen, Richard and wife Sharon, and Robert and wife Gillette, daughter Kathleen and husband Kyle Pestaluky, honorary son Wendell Haase, sister Elizabeth Olszowy and husband David Olszowy, sister-in-law Kathryn Traversi, 14 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A visitation and viewing will be held on Friday, March 1, 2024, from 5:00-8:00 PM, with a Rosary at 6:00. A funeral mass will be offered at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 2, 2024. Both services, and a reception following the Mass and burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery & Funeral Center, 7101 Verner Ave, Citrus Heights, CA 95621 (916) 726-1232.