Thea Louise Pellegrini Seese

August 14, 1930 – December 8, 2022
Thea 2 pic

Thea Louise Pellegrini Seese

Thea Louise Pellegrini Seese

August 14, 1930 – December 8, 2022

 

Thea Louise Pellegrini Seese was born to Erna Frank who had come to Sacramento at age 19 from Trier, Germany, to visit her uncle, who practiced medicine here. She found a job as an accountant which she had done at a bank in Trier and remained in Sacramento. She joined St. Francis Church and sang in the choir.

Thea’s father, Enso Pellegrini, was part of Sacramento’s Italian community, born and raised in Sacramento, and a lawyer at the time of his early death at age 38. Enso was an assistant district attorney of Sacramento County and a President of the Dante Club. He, his sister, and his parents had survived the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Thea was the oldest of Erna’s 3 children, with younger siblings Marilyn Leda Warner and Enso Frank Pellegrini. All their lives were irrevocably altered by the sudden death of their father at Christmastime of 1937. Erna raised the family in East Sacramento.  Thea recalled she knew only one other person who had a working mother when they were growing up. Erna eventually became an accountant with the State of California.

Thea grew up in Sacramento and attended Sacred Heart Elementary School, graduated from St. Joseph Academy, and then went to San Jose State University majoring in Social Studies and English. She then began a teaching career and taught mostly second to fourth grade at elementary schools in northern California and Oregon.

Thea met Gordon Allen Seese at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz and immediately fell in love. They were married September 9, 1951, in Sacramento and had a long, happy marriage until Gordon’s death in 2005. They enjoyed fly fishing, raising retriever dogs, and their educational careers. Even after retiring, Thea loved teaching and was awarded the “Tutor of the Year,” in Helena, Montana in 2012.

Thea and Gordon often traveled to Montana in the summers in the years when they were teaching. They lived and worked in Mt. Shasta, California and Albany, Oregon but they moved many times in their life together.  Gordon’s love of fly fishing led to a second career as a fly fishing guide, and they moved to West Yellowstone to follow their dream. They spent many of their happiest years in Helena, Montana with their many friends.

Thea had a life-long passion for Opera beginning at age 9 and regularly listened to the Metropolitan Opera broadcast from New York. She traveled to see many Opera performances with friends who shared her passion.  Thea loved music and played the piano. Always a great teacher, once Thea got started talking about the opera you were sure to learn more than you expected.

Thea and Gordon never had children yet were always dedicated to making a difference in young people’s lives. In addition to her students, Thea had 4 nephews and two nieces: Glenn Warner, Paul Warner, Robert Warner, Lynn Warner, and John Warner from her sister Marilyn and Don Warner, and Kate (Pellegrini) Soulages from Linda Pellegrini and her brother Frank. Thea made a difference in all of their lives. Later she had 2 great-nieces and 4 great-nephews: Sarah Warner, Courtney Warner, Michael Warner, Lauren Jull, Elinor Soulages and Ryan Warner. She loved them all and treasured when she could see them.