Vino In My Dino

Note from Home: A Gracious Legacy

September 28, 2020 16:14

Note from Home: A Gracious Legacy

Christine Elizabeth Pedroncelli  March 7, 1928 to September 15, 2020

My Aunt Christine passed away earlier this month from age related causes.  Christine became a part of our family’s story when she married John Pedroncelli in 1966. She was predeceased by John and left behind children Connie, Richard and Maureen along with seven grandchildren. She was a gracious woman who loved to learn, to ask questions and find answers.

Notes, in her own words, from a page she gave me for just this time included: Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley, a taxpayer in Sonoma County since 1963, active parenting for 28 years (which included volunteering many hours from elementary through high school), her community and civic activities spanned service on the Sonoma County Grand Jury, participating in the committee to build Geyserville Educational Park, Chairman of the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, Member and past president (and the first woman president) on the Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees. If you drive by the SRJC campus you’ll see the Pedroncelli Center which is a sign of her graciousness and interest in the betterment of all people-education was very important to her and she gave many hours of her time making sure the opportunities were there.

During this pandemic I find hope in the ways Christine approached life. We need more graciousness in our lives now. Seeing a clip of Justice Ginsburg telling of her mother’s encouragement to "be a lady-polite and independent" reminded me of my Aunt Christine. She was so gracious, but a very powerful force for good in Sonoma County. Christine’s legacy, one that will be remembered by family and friends, is framed by that gracious manner in all things.

Conversations with Christine took on a wide range of subjects because she was an avid reader and inquisitive. When you talked to Christine you HAD a conversation-no frivolous ‘hi how are you’ and moving on. Curiosity-always learning, asking questions, seeking answers and advocating.  Eager to learn, she asked after family, kids, grandchildren (whom she called ‘the youngsters’) and usually continued a conversation begun months ago or just last week.

The phrase ‘the world was her oyster’ must have been coined for Christine. As world travelers she and John visited far flung places like China, Argentina and Italy (of course) and they met many people throughout their travels. In fact not too long ago I sat at a table with the Stambaughs at our Sip & Savor dinner and they shared how they had met Christine & John and, in due time, became fans of the winery and wines. She was an enthusiastic advocate for the winery-she partnered with John over the years and was always an asset when she attended an event or poured wine for a guest. And she was always on the lookout for Pedroncelli wines wherever their travels took them and she sent me notes about where they found them.

She had a very keen eye for detail. One day, after some spring cleaning at Christine’s house, a file showed up at my office along with some articles and other archival items. It included extensive notes she took while planning the winery’s 60th Anniversary in 1987. All the logistics and choices laid out in an orderly fashion, detailed from the flowers to the food. I remember the event going very smoothly and now realize it was in part because of her knack for planning and hospitality. She and John would host a pre-harvest party for family and staff celebrating the harvest to come. It brought everyone together as we all looked forward to what the new vintage would bring.

My heart goes out to her children and grandchildren. We are living in a time when so many don’t get to gather to say goodbye to someone we love but I’m thankful she was surrounded by her family at Ridge Ranch. As we move along in 2020 let us be reminded of the good things in life-to be gracious in all you do, with all you meet, wherever life takes you. Thank you Christine.

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