Darlene Sue (Ellis) Gonzales
Darlene passed peacefully at home on October 7 after a brief battle with cancer. She was surrounded by the love of her family. Her dog, Jesy, never left her side during her illness providing security, love and companionship.
Darlene was born on February 4, 1939 and was the youngest of four children born to Edward and Blanche Ellis. At seven years younger than her closest sibling, Darlene enjoyed an active childhood driven by her imagination. She described herself as a “free range child” often recounting her play with the farm animals and in the open spaces, the desire to be a free spirit and the hours of enjoyment found playing with and caring for her many cats and kittens. She was raised in Escalon, California where she attended local schools and where she met her future husband, Bill. After graduation, she followed her brother, Joe, to San Francisco where she lived for a brief period ultimately returning to Bill in Escalon. They were married on October 1, 1960 enjoying a quiet 60th anniversary celebration with family at home prior to her passing. Despite the ups and downs of their 60 years, they raised two daughters into strong women as Darlene designed. When not working Darlene enjoyed travel, reporting her trip to Kenya and Tanzania with her sister, Ernie, as a highlight.
Darlene spent the early years of her marriage raising her girls at home. She later spent 15 years in sales and purchasing for Louis Rich Foods where she met many friends and often reported the enjoyment and personal satisfaction her career provided her. In 1990, Darlene joined her youngest daughter, Karrie, in business, building and growing Karrie’s physical therapy practice, Central Valley Physical Therapy, in Stockton. They worked together until her retirement in 2008.
In retirement, Darlene enjoyed spending time with her four grandchildren. Her home is noted to have pictures of her grandchildren on every surface and wall. She and Bill spent many Thursdays at the casino at Black Oak. They enjoyed time at the family cabin in Strawberry and were able to attend the wedding of their only granddaughter in 2019. Retirement also meant Giants baseball with her companion dog, Jesy, at her side.
Darlene is survived by her loving husband William (Bill) Gonzales of Escalon, daughters Kathy Gonzales of Riverbank, Karrie Gonzales of Davis, Sister Ernestine Roberson of Meridian Idaho, brother Ray Ellis of Shavertown, Pennsylvania, Grandchildren Justin York (Mandy) of Berkeley, Emily Jimenez-York (Brian) of Oakdale, Sebastian Gonzales and James Gonzales-Harris of Davis, and her friend and protector, Jesy. She was proceeded in death by her parents Edward and Blanche, and her brothers Joe and Gordon Ellis.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Deegan Funeral Chapel. Darlene will be laid to rest during a private service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society or Community Hospice.
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