December 31, 1921 - January 17, 2010
Born in Oakland, CA
Resided in Salinas, CA
She was born December 31, 1921 to Nicodemus and Agnese Lucchesi and grew up in Oakland, CA with her older brother, Mario. She graduated from University High School and married a farmer, Edward Modena, in 1940 before moving to Castroville. They eventually settled in Salinas, CA where she raised 3 daughters and a son. Most of her days were spent toting the kids to and from school and chaperoning class field trips and school events. She was a devout Catholic who sang in both the Sacred Heart Parish and San Carlos Cathedral choirs. One of her greatest pleasures was singing for Midnight Mass. For the past 13 years, she attended mass at St. Joseph's Parish in Spreckels.
As a child she loved going to the movies and later enjoyed attending shows at the Curran Theater in San Francisco with her friend Mary Houston. At home she sang along with her favorite artist, Barbara Streisand as well as numerous musicals and operas. Her favorite sport teams were the 49ers and The Notre Dame Fighting Irish with Joe Montana as her favorite athlete.
Norma was a staunch Democrat who believed in fairness and equality for all and displayed open-mindedness and acceptance through her smile and friendly demeanor. Through her work as a home health aide she was able to share her caring nature with many people who all became a special part of her life. She had an unrelenting devotion to her family and friends; she shared her home with her mother for 30 years and would have done it for 30 more. Although she always cared for others, there were some things she enjoyed for herself. In particular: cross word puzzles, mystery novels, reading the paper, and watching NCSI. She loved to drive to the ocean and watch the waves. She had a quick wit and loved to laugh and play games, which she usually won.
In June 2009, Norma was diagnosed with breast cancer but never fully recovered from surgery. However, with the help of her angels at Pacific Coast Care Center and her determination she was able to return home and enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, her 88th birthday, and New Year's with her family.
She is survived by her brother, Mario (Carolyn) Lucchesi of Healdsburg, CA; four children, Deborah (Norbert) Rottenari of Germany, Penelope Modena of Chico CA, Patricia Bass of Salinas, CA and Richard (Nina) Modena of Oklahoma; two grandchildren, Bernadette Bass of Salinas/San Jose, CA and Jon Munroe of Maine, as well as three great-grandchildren and best friend of 81 years, Dorothy Campisi of San Jose, CA.
A Rosary will be held in her honor on Friday, February 5, 2010 at 7:00pm at Struve and Laporte Funeral Home, 41 West San Luis Street, Salinas, CA 93901
Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 2:00pm at St. Joseph's Church, 1 Railroad Avenue, Spreckels, CA 93962.
Norma donated too many charities over the years and in lieu of flowers we ask you to make a donation to your favorite charity in her memory.
Salinas, CA US 93901
Spreckels, CA US 93962