Obituary of Evelyn Lorraine Vitarisi
Evelyn Lorraine Vitarisi, 77, of Manteca, California passed away on April 2, 2023, from complications of scleroderma.
Evelyn was born on January 12, 1946, the fourth of seven children, to George and Frances (Cerrito) Leonard. Evelyn was known for her beautiful red hair and her fearless personality. She grew up blocks from the infamous Monterey Bay, known for its fishing industry, in a large, loving extended family. Evelyn loved music and performing from a young age. She sang in the Children’s Choir for San Carlos Church, entertained the neighborhood children with her many plays, harmonized with her sisters as they washed the dinner dishes every night, and was a song leader in high school.
Evelyn also loved to learn and was a life-long student. She attended San Carlos Church Grammar School, Junipero Serra High School, Monterey Peninsula College, and San Jose State University. She graduated many years later from Golden Gate University magna cum lade with a master’s degree in human resources.
In 1967, Evelyn met the love of her life, Peter Thomas Vitarisi. They were married that same year and began a family that eventually grew to four children: Christine, Lisa, Peter Jr., and Elizabeth. Evelyn’s children were her pride and joy, and she loved being a mother. She enjoyed giving her children many experiences, such as golf and tennis lessons, performing arts lessons, and traveling around the United States and to countries near and far.
Evelyn volunteered her time and talents to many organizations, such as Children’s Home Society, San Carlos Church, and Catholic Daughters. Her life’s work was being an advocate for the elderly. She served as an Ombudsman and held positions at Alliance on Aging and Carmel Foundation. She took pleasure in planning activities and events for elderly people such as music concerts, gardening classes, art classes, and a multitude of other uplifting experiences.
After retirement, Evelyn embraced life by continuing to learn, participate, and contribute to her community. She served on several beautification committees and improved many locations on the Monterey Peninsula. Evelyn’s true fulfillment in life was to spend time with her husband Peter and her family and friends. She loved to entertain and was a wonderful hostess. She reveled in her role as a grandmother and attended every party and sporting event for her grandchildren.
Evelyn’s love of Jesus and deep spirituality defined her. She served as a spiritual mentor to so many and was a grief counselor, providing guidance and comfort to those in need, for many years.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her mother and father, Frances and George Leonard, her sister Sally Curatolo and brother-in-law Peter Curatolo, and her brother-in-law Rick Elves. She is survived by her husband Peter Vitarisi Sr., her daughter Christine Vitarisi, her daughter Lisa Mathews (Clay), her son Peter Vitarisi Jr. (Shelley), her daughter Elizabeth Suro (Martin), eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren, her brother Edward Leonard (Bella), her sister Phyllis Lilly (Donald), her sister Elizabeth Elves, her brother Michael Leonard (Diane), her sister Debra Albert (Marc), and many beloved nieces and nephews.
A Chapel Service (rosary) is being held at Mission Mortuary, Tuesday, April 11 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at 450 Camino El Estero, Monterey, California.
A Mass is being held at San Carlos Cathedral, Wednesday, April 12 at 10:00 a.m. at 500 Church Street, Monterey, California.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the National Scleroderma Foundation.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Evelyn Vitarisi, please visit Tribute Store