Theresa Bergholz

Obituary of Theresa Bergholz

Theresa passed away at the Dominican Hospital at 12:40pm Saturday 10/29/2011. My Thanks to the CCU staff that cared for her in last days. She was a 50 year survivor of breast cancer surgery. Born and raised in Santa Cruz County, Theresa Bergholz was a true Santa Cruz Native. She was married in 1938 and was preceded in death by her husband of almost 50 years. She is survived by her son Ferd and his wife Fran; Grandson Ferdinand and his wife Karen, 2 great grandsons Justin and Brandon (her Munchkin); a step grandson Mike and his partner Chris, great granddaughter Brittany and great grandson Cameron; Cousins Don and Pauline; plus many other cousins. She is now at peace with her Mom, Dad, and Brother. During World War II, Theresa worked for Standard Oil as a grease monkey. (Her Words) She soon was made the manager of her station. After coming back to Santa Cruz she applied for a job with Leask's Department store. After a couple of years selling handbags and gloves, she was asked to take over the buyers job for their Cosmetic department. At that time the department was in a small corner of the store. Within a few years it had grown so much that the Leask clan had to expand her area and place it in front of the main door to the store. After trying for a long time, she convinced Este Lauder to sell to Leask's and she started to write orders. That Christmas season she started filling out her order for the holiday season. When it was done, she realized that the wholesale total on her Este Lauder order came to more than One Million dollars. In the 1960s, and order of this size was unheard of. She took the order to her supervisors and the store manager for approval. No one would approve it. She was told to take it to the Store owner Mr. Sam Leask. She showed him the order. He asked, "Bergholz are you going to be able to sell this?" She answered "Yes" and he signed the order. Her department did sell that order at Christmas and did so again and again in future years. She was awarded the First Samuel Leask Award in 1977. She was extremely proud to be the first winner of this award. All of her accomplishments were made with a grade school education. She needed to start working early at the mushroom plant in Santa Cruz to help with the family expenses. Her first trip on a plane was a surprise buying trip to New York arranged by her boss and Friend Sam Leask. Leask's Department store was sold to the Gottschalks chain after she retired. Theresa did a lot of traveling with family after she retired in 1984. Several trips to Italy, Canada, Florida, Louisiana, all the western states and many trips to Nevada were included in her travels. She loved visiting with relatives and friends. True to her wishes, there will be no services. Please celebrate her life with your own families. Donations in lieu of flowers should be sent to the Scotts Valley Senior Center or the San Agustin Church.
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