Bernice "Bea" Panetta

Bernice “Bea” Panetta

Bea, 81, of Santa Clara, died January 2, 2018, with her family and friends by her side. She was born in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, to the late Stephen Sokol and Suzanna Zupko.

In 1951 she met the love of her life, Alfred “Al” Panetta at a square dance and married in 1955.   They relocated to California when Al was stationed in San Diego. Al’s parents an

d siblings joined them in the move to the West Coast. Family gatherings for birthdays and holidays were the norm. The tradition continued with their grandchildren when Bea and Al would open their home to huge gatherings of friends and family for a BBQs. Everyone was welcomed with a big hug at the door. The food was amazing and sometimes you could be lucky enough to see Bea and Al do the jitterbug.

Bea started her career at Hewlett-Packard in 1962. Bea enjoyed her years at Hewlett Packard.  She was well-known being the Chief Telephone Operator of the Palo Alto division and the highlight of her days would be when Mr Hewlett and Mr. Packard would stop in and visit her whenever they were in the building.  

Bea retired after 39 years at Hewlett Packard and was even busier than before working with her husband at his C.P.A. practice. She was a fixture at the front office keeping things organized and running smoothly.  When she wasn’t helping out at the tax office, she focused on her family and was very active with her grandchildren. 

 Many days she would be seen in the stands with Al and her granddaughter, Bianca, at her grandson, Roberto’s, baseball games. She helped with “coaching” from the stands and often instructed the players by telling them “don’t swing unless you are going to hit the ball”.

Bea filled her house with love and support. Whether it was preparing for a craft fair, going to a baseball game or embarking on a new career or adventure, she was there 100% with her strong supportive words and never-ending love. Bea was always there for you, even if things did not work out as planned. Her no-nonsense approach was helpful and there was much love behind her words.

Never one to sit and relax, Bea was always on the move and always doing something for their house, family and friends. Many of her children’s and grandchildren’s friends would stop by to visit. There was always space at the dinner table for an extra person or two.  She also loved tending to her flower garden and she was always under the watchful eye of their beloved dog, Hanz.

Bea loved her sons-in-law, Rich and Paul. They were there to help out whenever she needed it. When they were helping with home repairs, Bea was right in the mix willing to lend a hand if needed. She was ever appreciative for their help and expertise.

Bea was an excellent cook. Her daughter, Rhonda, fondly remembers being taught the family meals when she was young.  Many loving memories were made in that kitchen. 

In her final months, daughter, Teri, son-in-law, Paolo, and their children, Roberto and Bianca, were constant figures in Bea’s care. This is a beautiful tribute to Al and Bea’s example of love and family. We were blessed to have Bea through the holiday season. She had a lifetime of laughter, family and love, always, love.

Bea is preceded in death by her parents, Stephen and Suzanna; her stepbrother, Frank Bartkowski; and stepsister, Eleanor Latsko and siste,r Agnes Ricci.

Bea leaves her loving memories to be cherished by her devoted husband of 62 years, Alfred; her daughter Theresa, husband Paolo and children – Roberto and Bianca – all of Santa Clara; and her daughter Rhonda, husband Rich of Eatonville, WA. She is also survived by her brother Paul, wife Roberta and son, Stephen of Nanticoke, PA; stepsister, Irene Lasecki of Nanticoke, PA

A Rosary will be held January 17th at 7 pm at the Spangler Mortuary, 174 North Sunnyvale Ave, Sunnyvale Ca 94086.  A funeral mass will be held January 18th at 11 am at Saint Lawrence the Martyr,1971 Saint Lawrence Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95051 interment immediately following at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln St  Santa Clara, Ca 95050

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the American Lung Cancer Society in Bea’s honor. The family would also like to express their gratitude to Kaiser Permanente for their support.