Manuela (Nellie) Pagan passed peacefully early in the morning of October 5th 2019 following a 3 week illness at Kaiser Hospital in Vallejo Ca. She was surrounded by her immediate family as well as her favorite nephew Randy Pagan Jr, (my sweetness as she called him) and his wife Celeste.
Nellie is survived by her daughter Theresa (Frank) O’Hara and her son Robert, her grandchildren (the light of her eyes) Nicole (Steven) Wilson and Anthony O’Hara, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her loving and caring husband Robert (Bob) in 2013 after 57 years of marriage.
Nellie was born in San Francisco on February 6th 1936 to Manual and Matilda Mendoza. She spent her early years in Mt. St. Joseph in San Francisco’s “Butcher Town” District. She then attended St. Peter’s Catholic Grammar School and High School where she met her lifelong friends Ms. Fran Barberini and Ms. Barbara Johnson.
Meeting Bob in 1954 they were married 3 years later on June 29th 1957. As time passed and the children grown, she began her career as a school bus driver and behind the wheel trainer in San Mateo County. Nellie lovingly drove and cared for children with special needs. She affectionately earned the name “Sarge” by her bosses as she had always demanded excellency of her trainees and was assured of their ability to pass every part of the rigorous testing required to become a school bus driver.
Among the many pastimes were the family camping trips to Montana, Idaho, and Mt. Shasta. She, with Bob enjoyed several cruise vacations with Bob’s brother Randy and wife Barbara as well as her cousin Elva and husband John Walsh. You could often find this group dining at San Francisco’s House of Prime Rib, Nellie’s favorite place to enjoy a meal.
Nellie moved to Napa with her son Robert 3 years ago, to live with her daughter Theresa. She dearly missed her Pacifica neighbors and friends. Charlene Bennet, Bill and Mary Ann Provence, Irene Monahan… and so many more within the St. Peters Catholic Church community.
She quickly made new friends while in Napa. Among her favorites were Anthony Marek and Nicholas Dominici, two young men who both spent time in deep conversation with her whenever they met. Nellie always made the extra effort to watch these two perform in their choir performances. She was so proud that she was able to see a video of Anthony singing at Carnegie Hall. Also in Napa was her dear friend Fr. Thomas Kyallo, who often visited and brought her communion. Throughout her life Nellie was blessed to have so many caring and loving people who opened and welcomed her into their lives.
Fr. Thomas will celebrate a memorial mass for Nellie at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Pacifica, 700 Oddstad Blvd on Friday, October 25th, at 11:00 am. Family and friends are welcome to join us in our celebration of Nellie’s life. A reception following at the Sharp Park Golf Course where we can share our stories and memories of Nellie in our lives.
In lieu of flowers the family ask donations be made to the Hearts of Kenya (an orphanage that Fr. Thomas started in Kenya) and/or the Patrick Savage Memorial Scholarship fund that provides scholarships to high school students. Checks can be mailed to 3572 Sandybrook Ln, Napa Ca. 94558 (Designating which fund you choose.)
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