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Lesley Gonzalez

January 16, 1949 ~ July 27, 2018 (age 69)

Lesley Diane Gonzalez, age 69, passed away peacefully in her home in Prunedale, surrounded by her loved ones on Friday, July 27, 2018. She was born on January 16, 1949 in Santa Cruz, California to Ronald (Ronnie) and Roberta Owen, who both came over to the United States from England just after WWII. She is survived by her beloved husband James Gonzalez, three children (Jeanette, Philip, and Richard), five grandchildren (Elora, Ethan, Evander, Danica, and Dylan), sister Christine Owen Mullen, and nieces Maureen and Jessica.
Lesley went to Gault Elementary School and Soquel High School in Santa Cruz, and moved back twice to England with her family when she was a little girl. This resulted in her acquiring an English accent she never quite lost, and with her petite frame and short red hair, she was a near perfect look-alike for actress Haley Mills; or so James Gonzalez thought, who fell head over heels for her when they met their first year of college at University of California, Santa Cruz. It was a fairytale romance—wide eyes and blushing across the dance floor, giggles, and culminated in Jim getting his courage up the next day to approach Lesley's dorm room, knock on her door, and ... ask her for change for the washing machine. They were together forever after, for fifty long years. In love, for half a century.
Words just can't express enough what a special person Lesley was to everyone who knew her. The best mother we could ever ask for; supportive, nurturing, and loving. She loved to tell stories. They all began with her birth and went forward in real time. Being a history major, she loved all things history, especially if it pertained to England. Her three children grew up hearing stories of the kings and queens of England, the countless battles that took place there, and tidbits of every place they visited. She was a personal tour guide for the many friends and family who traveled with her through Britain.
Apart from her love of history, Lesley was an avid bird watcher and Beatrix Potter fan. The many feeders and bird baths in her garden attracted every bird in the area as well as migrating flocks that spied her oasis from above, and even a rare Chinese golden pheasant. She created a lovely home, surrounded in English gardens brimming with flowers year-round.
Lesley was a great hostess. She loved having friends and family over, and our many holiday traditions and birthday parties included lots of games and laughter. Lesley had a dry sense of humor, mixed with a good dose of British Monty Python. I can almost hear her now, saying she's only mostly dead, and still pining for the fjords. She is a vibrant, beautiful being, who is far from dead; filled with even more light and love than before, and still traveling. The universe is now her oyster.
Lesley's memorial service will be on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 2pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1071 Pajaro Street, Salinas, CA. A reception will follow in the church's hall after the service. Due to her love of flowers, her final wish was to bring her garden into the church. Floral donations are welcome.

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