Patricia Marie Jelaca was born on February 3, 1937 in Rock Springs, Wyoming, the daughter of Barton Grosso and Katherine (Daniels) Grosso.
She attended schools in Rock Springs and graduated in 1955 from Rock Springs High School. Patricia married Robert Jelaca on November 7, 1955. From this union five children were born. Eldest son Barton died before his first birthday. Patricia was a stay-at-home mom until her children were old enough for her to pursue a career.
Patricia attended Western Wyoming Jr. College where she earned an associate degree. The Jelaca family moved to Bakersfield, California in 1969, where Patricia continued her education and graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and later earned a teaching degree. She taught elementary and junior high students in the Bakersfield School District in California for 30 years until her retirement in 2000.
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Patricia loved life and family. Her greatest pleasure came from her grandchildren, Amy and Tyler, both born the same year she retired. She has often said that she was blessed that the timing of her retirement worked out so perfectly. Around this time, Patricia and Robert moved to Ventura, California to be closer to them. They were involved in their daily life. They enjoyed traveling with grandchildren and family, especially in the summer months.
Patricia was a fitness guru. If she wasn’t at the gym working out, she was walking the dog or hiking with a family member. Patricia loved to travel, she was an avid reader, she loved music, dancing, going to the theater and cinema. Patricia enjoyed shopping for clothes and accessories, especially with her granddaughter Amy, and she always dressed for success. Patricia loved animals. She had always loved her cats Rocky and Beau and her dogs Otis, Oliver and Ruby.
Patricia was a devout Catholic. After her retirement, she became a member of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Ventura, California, where over the years she was active in the church. She was a member of the Young Ladies’ Institute (YLI), volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul, and served as Eucharistic minister to inpatients, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities.
Patricia never let grass grow under her feet. She was generous and worked tirelessly until her body could no longer sustain her energy and life circumstances intervened in the most undesirable way. She was always there when we needed her. She dedicated her life to God and her family. She will be sincerely missed.
Survivors include her husband Robert Jelaca, a son Robert of Oxnard, CA, three daughters: Kathleen Jelaca-Maxwell and her husband Jeff of Ventura, CA, Nancy Persons and her husband Tyler of Camarillo, CA and Joan Jelaca of Maui, HI : two grandchildren, Amy Maxwell of Ventura, California and Tyler Persons of Camarillo, California.
Patricia was predeceased by her parents, her son Barton and her brother, Charles Barnaby. Cremation has taken place and a mass was held in his honor on Monday, July 18, 2022 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Ventura, California.
If interested, donations can be made to Saint Vincent de Paul (3175 Telegraph Rd. Ventura, CA) in Patricia’s honor.