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Frances Cava Obituary

Frances Mary Cava
Frances Mary Cava

October 29, 1936 - May 28, 2020
Born in Le Mars, Iowa
Resided in Salinas, California
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Frances Mary Cava, aged 83, passed away on May 28, 2020 surrounded by family in the comfort of her home. She was born in Le Mars, Iowa where her father served the Civilian Conservation Corps as a medical doctor. The family moved to Monterey, California in 1940. Fran’s father, one of Monterey’s first Italian-speaking doctors, died unexpectedly in 1946.

Frances lived a life of service dedicated to family, the Catholic Church, friends, and the broader community. She was an active student body leader at Monterey High School, graduating in 1954. A pioneer of her era, she was a member of the first-ever female cohort to attend the University of San Francisco’s inaugural nursing program. Upon obtaining her degree in 1958, Frances worked as a surgical nurse at various hospitals in California and Minnesota. She also worked for some years as a court reporter in San Mateo.

Frances met her future husband Robert (Bob) on a blind date in 1964. After the two married on April 23, 1966, she devoted herself to homemaking and raising their three children. She delighted in large family gatherings, filling her home with both loved-ones and the aroma of her delicious homemade pasta sauce, as all eagerly awaited the call to “mangia!”

Her Catholic faith was a cornerstone of her life. She was an active member of St. Joseph’s Church in Spreckels, devotedly serving as a Eucharistic Minister and delivering Communion to the homebound. She also volunteered for many years cooking meals and serving the homeless through the church’s I-Help ministry.

An avid bridge player, Frances played with the Monterey Bridge Center until shortly before her death. She also volunteered as a teacher’s helper at Sacred Heart School, where she taught bridge to an entirely new generation of players.

Friends and family cherished and admired Fran’s kindness, devotion, steadfastness, patience, and love. Her relationships with others were the pillars of her life. In addition to being a beloved matriarch of her extended Italian family, she maintained lifelong connections with friends from high school and college, as well as colleagues from her professional life.

Frances is preceded in death by her husband of nearly 53 years, Bob Cava, her parents, Sebastian and Alfia “Fina” Carnazzo, and her younger brother John.

She is survived by her three children, Christy and her husband Ken; Matthew and his wife Kathryn; and Jonathan and his wife Heidi; three grandchildren, Charlie, Karma, and Bodhi; her siblings William, Louie, and Paula, in addition to numerous adoring nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express its deepest gratitude to the caregivers at Halo Specialized Home Care who provided loving aid to our mother during the final months of her life.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 18th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis Street, Salinas, CA. 93901. Due to the current pandemic, funeral services will be private, limited to immediate family.

A Mass and feast will take place next summer, God willing, when all can come to celebrate Fran’s life.




Struve and Laporte Chapel
41 W. San Luis Street
Salinas, California 93901
Thursday, June 18, 2020
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM