Martha Tei
Martha Tei

Obituary of Martha Mary Tei

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A Loving Tribute To Our Wonderful Mother and Nonna If you ever had the pleasure of meeting our Nonna, you would definitely remember her lighting up the room with her dazzling smile, sparkling eyes and that inner glow emanating an immeasurable beam of kindness from the center of her core. She was truly an angel who lived among us for nearly 96 years just to bring joy, kindness, and service to all who were fortunate to know her. On August 19, 2022, Martina joined her beloved husband, Giovacchino, whom she had been missing for the last eight and a half years. They were quite the team- that dynamic duo often referred to as “the cutest little gray-haired couple around.” Martina is the daughter of Battista and Angelina Bregante, and youngest sister of Frank and Battista Bregante, Mary Botti and Jennie Seagraves. Her family roots are deeply embedded among the notable Genovese Italian families who immigrated in the early 1900’s from the hillsides of the Ligurian Coast to establish the Santa Cruz commercial fishing community on West Cliff. We grew up visiting the family home for vacations and hearing millions of wonderful stories of growing up in this close-knit community with her relatives and friends and their innocent little escapades. One story of particular importance, and of romantic interest, involved the family mandate that she was “not allowed to talk to boys.” Being a prim and proper young lady, and in fear of her two older brothers, she followed that cardinal rule faithfully, until she met a dashing Italian immigrant, from Tuscany, who swept her off her feet and in 1948 they were married at Mission Santa Cruz and soon established their home in Stockton, where together they pursued their own little American Dream fueled by hard work and strong family values. Those who have grown up around our Nonna know that she exemplified all that is good and right in the world. As a dear family friend described, “I felt the beauty and kindness of the world through the way she treated me.” She was happy to quietly stand behind the scenes and proudly watch others shine- “she made everyone feel important.” She was a devoted wife, consummate mother, doting grandmother (including the Silkwood scrub downs and the scary monkey and devil story), adoring great grandmother, and renowned sandwich maker extraordinaire at Gaia-Delucchi Delicatessen. When we were with her, it was like being embraced with the softest, warmest blanket, listened to by the sharpest ear, and viewed with the eyes of unconditional love. Truly exemplifying the meaning of selflessness, there was never an end to what she would do for us- never an inconvenience she wouldn’t tackle or a task she couldn’t accomplish- just to make all of us happy. She cherished all the random art projects and school pictures taped to her frig, didn’t mind the sticky spills on the floor, toys and buttons strewn about, the high-pitched screeching sounds of playful kids or the incessant basketball bouncing. She would lovingly cook for hours- from scratch- and made sure she prepared everyone’s favorite dishes. She tirelessly cared for infants and carpooled to their numerous activities when they were teens. Boy, did she love her grandkids!!! These memories, and countless more, are indelibly etched in our hearts and will continue to bring us smiles for a lifetime. Nonna gardened and cleaned and enjoyed the company of her family, friends, and neighbors- and was beloved by all. She had that magnetic charisma that made instant friendships, whether at an elegant event or just walking her dog- everyone seemed to recognize her. From the marvel of her modest simplicity always emerged the grandeur of her magnificent beauty and elegance, strength and grace. Our Nonna was completely pure of heart and filled with joie de vivre. She will remain our inspiration and our role model. The lessons we learned is the legacy she leaves behind and the values we strive to live by. They were lessons quietly taught by the example of how she lived her own life: live simply and graciously, love deeply and unconditionally, think compassionately and empathetically, smile readily and sincerely, speak respectfully and warmly, forgive frequently and ungrudgingly, laugh kindly and joyously, serve generously and altruistically, work passionately and tirelessly, and believe faithfully and earnestly. Martina and Giovacchino’s immediate family include; daughter Sandra Warmerdam, and husband Louie, who live in Lodi, granddaughter Dru Warmerdam Vignolo, and husband Anthony, and their two children, Gio and Tea, who live in Stockton, and grandson Ari Warmerdam, and wife Samar, and their two daughters, Mena and Maya, who live in San Francisco, and of course their faithful “puppy” Tata. Martha’s family would like to express their special gratitude to “The Lolas,” her beloved team of Care Angels- Lola, Ermie, and Ana, who blessed Martha with years of loving care, hours of compassionate handholding, patiently doing Word Searches, and watching Golden Girls and Hallmark movies. “Don’t forget to close the window, turn off the light, and Hi-di-ho and away we go on a speedboat ride!” We also want to acknowledge our appreciation for the excellence of care and support over the years from her doctors, nurses and support staff, as well as to all her friends and neighbors whom she loved dearly. Visitation and viewing will be held on Friday, October 14, 2022, beginning at 1:00 PM for family and 2:00 PM for friends, at the Santa Cruz Memorial Mission Chapel, 1927 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz. A Vigil Service will follow the viewing at 6:00 PM, also at the Santa Cruz Memorial Mission Chapel. Honoring Martina and Giovacchino’s lifelong wish to be entombed together, a shared Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at 10:00 AM, at Mission Santa Cruz, 120 Emmett St., Santa Cruz. It is with great joy and special significance that their Funeral will be held jointly- at the same location as their wedding, celebrated 74 years ago, almost to the date. Entombment will take place immediately following the service at Santa Cruz Memorial Park Mission Mausoleum, 1927 Ocean St., Santa Cruz.
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1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, October 14, 2022
Santa Cruz Memorial Mission Chapel
1927 Ocean Street Ext.
Santa Cruz, California, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Holy Cross Church
210 High Street
Santa Cruz, California, United States
(831) 423-4182
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Martha Tei

In Loving Memory

Martha Tei

1926 - 2022

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