Cover photo for Eleanor Jane Lanzarotta's Obituary
Eleanor Jane Lanzarotta Profile Photo

Eleanor Jane Lanzarotta

November 29, 1924 — August 24, 2018

Eleanor Jane Lanzarotta

November 29, 1924 — August 24, 2018

Eleanor Lanzarotta, maiden name Mercurio, passed away on August 24, 2018, comfortably in her room at the Coastal Breeze Memory Care home in Del Mar, California. Eleanor lead a full and interesting life, throughout all of her 93 years. She was born in Eastern Pennsylvania on November 29, 1924, the youngest of 9 children. When she was still very young, her family moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she attended elementary and high school.

After graduating high school, she moved with family members to Alhambra, California. During World War 2, Eleanor rode the Red Cars to Downtown Los Angeles to work in the phone company building.

After the war ended, Eleanor joined an Italian young adult group. It is there that she met the love of her life, Joseph Lanzarotta, originally of Steubenville, Ohio. They fell in love and were married in January of 1950. Their first child, Sandi, was born in Pasadena, CA in 1952. Their second, Michael, was born in Corona, CA in 1954, and their third, Barry, was born in Pasadena, CA in 1956.

In 1958, the family moved to Plumosa Drive in East Pasadena, CA, and that is where fun began. The house was a ½ block from Eaton Blanch Park, where the children spent most of their time. Eleanor would prepare dinner, then walk out to the sidewalk and call the children home to eat.

The children attended St. Felicitas and Perpetua Catholic School in San Marino, CA. Eleanor volunteered countless hours helping out with Thursday hamburger days, doing office work, organizing fund raisers, and assisting the Pastor.

Joe came from a family of 5 children & by the time of his marriage most of them lived in Southern California. There were many social gatherings with Grandpa Santo, the Aunts and Uncles, and cousins of all ages. Joe and Eleanor were regular hosts. One memorable tradition was the Fourth of July celebrations where the families would get together and travel around the San Gabriel Valley, watching fireworks and meeting people. Another tradition was attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, then having family members from both sides retire to Plumosa Drive for an Italian Feast. Eleanor and Joe also hosted New Year Eve Casino Nights, complete with gaming tables.

Throughout her life, Eleanor maintained her humorous outlook on life. She was a great listener, always smiling and shaking her head as she listened to Joe's stories, especially sitting around the massive dining room table on Plumosa Drive as all enjoyed her marvelous cooking.

In 1968, after a few vacations to the Big Bear, CA valley, staying at a cabin of one of Eleanor's coworkers, the family purchased a "U Finish" cabin shell that became known as "The Cabin" in Sugarloaf, CA. The whole family spent many weekends working to complete the cabin and enjoying the many activities in Big Bear. The Cabin is still in the family today.

Eleanor's resolve was tested when, in 1986, after a long battle with cancer, Joe passed away. She was able to rely on the support of her children and relatives who lived in the area. Eventually Eleanor moved from Plumosa Drive to a condo townhouse close by. She still hosted Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations with family.

In 1990 Eleanor was blessed with grandchildren, first Sandi's son Kyle, and then Michael and Vicki's son Trevor. Again in 1994, another grandson was born, Kelby, to Michael and Vicki. Eleanor always joked that she wanted granddaughters, but it was not to be.

In the middle 1990's, the family purchased a condo in Palm Springs, CA. Eleanor spent many weekends hanging out with her grandsons around the community pool, and enjoying all that Palm Springs had to offer. Eleanor also spent vacations at her friend Louise's home on the north shore of Kaui. In 1992, she left the island just days before the Category 4 hurricane Iniki hit Kaui. The home was destroyed, but was rebuilt for more vacations.

Eleanor was always present for the grandson's sports and activities. She would sit with her sister Gloria, not exactly sure what was going on, but providing support for the boys. It was only recently that her children realized that she attended many Detroit Tiger games as a youth, and knew a lot about baseball.

As Eleanor transitioned into assisted living, she kept her sense of humor, love of life, and interest in her family's activities. Visits with Eleanor was a great trip down memory lane. She could remember helping her father make wine in the family basement in Detroit, and riding the Red Cars into Los Angeles.

Eleanor is survived by her three children. Sandi, Michael & wife Vicki, and Barry. Her grandsons Kyle, Trevor and Kelby.

She was preceded in death by her sisters and brothers, Gloria, Elizabeth, Edith, Sara, Nick, Orlando, Ernie, and Vera.

Services will be held on Saturday, September 8th, 11am, at Zook Mortuary in Monrovia, followed by internment at Resurrection Cemetery in Rosemead, CA, where she will join her beloved Joe.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Eleanor Jane Lanzarotta, please visit our flower store.


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Funeral planning is funded through the purchase of whole life insurance from National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Madison, WI (NGL). A qualified Forest Lawn Planning Advisor who has been both licensed by the California Department of Insurance and appointed as an agent of NGL can answer any questions. Forest Lawn Mortuary (licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs as Douglass & Zook Funeral and Cremation Services) is an agent of NGL. National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, aka The Guardian or Guardian Life.

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