Ettamae Haigh Gonzales, “Mamie” age 93 peacefully passed away on Friday, February 7, 2020. She was born in Delano California and moved to Porterville several years ago. Her parents Alvah Lee Haigh and Augusta Boisserance raised their 5 daughters in Delano. Mamie would share stories about how she loved spending time with her Daddy on the ranch. Raising horses and cattle and hanging out at his blacksmith shop.
There was a dapper salesman from Ventura who worked at Morris Department Store on Main Street in Delano. That handsome salesman became the man of her dreams and the love of her life, Salvatore, “Lolo” Gonzales. They were married on August 14,1945, the day President Harry S.Truman announced the end of World War II. Papa would always joke about the war ending that day! Together they raised 5 children, Chris,(Cathy) Gonzales Mike, Kathy Savoie, Mark (Patti) Gonzales and Lisa. 13 Grandchildren, Bryan (Carole) Gonzales, Matthew Gonzales, Amy Gonzales, Jessica (Mat) Barton, Shane Gonzales, Erin Mercado, Alissa Savoie, Haigh (Tiffany) Savoie, Stephanie (Nacho) Castillo, Canaan (Megan) Gonzales Jordan(Jena) Gonzales, Kelly Gonzales, Ryan Gonzales , 26 + 1 on the way great grandchildren, and 5 Great-Great Grandchildren. Together with spouses their family grew and continues to grow! We are all so fortunate to be a part of the Mimi & Papa Lolo legacy! We have big shoes to fill!
Hard work and always a part of community and church, Mamie & Lolo helped build Delano for close to 4 decades. They purchased Toppers Mens Store on Main Street and quickly was “the” place to rent a tux or buy Levi’’s in the valley! It would be no big deal for Mamie to bake hundreds of cinnamon rolls for the church bingo night. She dried the many grapes that were dropped off at their doorstop by grateful workers that they had helped. They were such charitable and compassionate people to those less fortunate. They were appreciated and we were rewarded because Mamie turned those grapes into the most delicious raisins in the world! Her love of baking & homemaking was an art she perfected. The gift of baking whatever recipe she decided from cookies to bread and family meals together was her way of spoiling us and we will never have a better roll than Mimi’s rolls! She would do anything from fixing a broken pipe to knitting booties for her grandkids, she didn’t fear any challenge! She and Lolo traveled the world and each journey always had a story to tell. The one we love best was while they were on a cruise in the Bahamas she dropped a note in a bottle off at sea and it washed up months later in Florida, found by a young boy who’s father was from Delano! That story made the National Enquirer!
We will miss her dearly and hearing about the latest movie she was watching on TCM. Mimi had so many stories that she loved to share with us and we will smile, laugh and cry revisiting those fun times through the years her and Papa Lolo gave to us all. Lolo had been patiently waiting in heaven to dance again with his sweetie, Mamie! She is also reunited with Lisa who we’re comforted knowing she’s in Moms arms again and Mike is laughing & keeping them entertained with lots of jokes to catch up on! We couldn’t thank the wonderful and compassionate care givers that provided care for Mom through the years. God Bless You! As a family you’ll never know how much your care was appreciated. And Kathy and her children especially keeping her close in Porterville was what Mimi enjoyed most of all….and her dog, Ty too! We hope you are able to share in a Celebration of a life wel lived Tuesday, Feb 25th at 11:00 mass at St. Anne’s Catholic church, 378 N F St. Porterville with a luncheon following at 12:30 at Porterville Funeral Center 765 W. Henderson in Porterville. Please join us and share some laughs telling Mamie & Lolo stories. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Optimal Hospice of Porterville.
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