Helen Gherna 1910-2008 Helen Loretta Gherna passed away peacefully on November 25, 2008 at her home in Hawthorne, CA at the age of 98. Born to Francisco and Rosa Grasso on December 10, 1910 in Chihuahua, Mexico, she was raised in Bisbee, Arizona, where she met and married her husband of 73 years, Edmund A. Gherna, who predeceased her in 1999. Ed and Helen moved to the South Bay in 1931 and where they raised their two children, Edmund R. (wife Besse) Gherna, of Lawndale and Diana Lee Jaunzemis of Hawthorne, who lived with and took loving care of Helen for the past six years. One of 11 children, Helen leaves two still living, sister Henrietta Parsell of Seaside, California, and brother Carlos Grasso of Manhattan Beach. "Nana", as she was known to her 6 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, lived a full, vibrant and adventurous life, sharing her sense of style, humor and joy of living with family, friends and neighbors alike. In addition to her brother and sister, she is survived by her son Edmund and daughter Diane, grandchildren Peggy (Danny) Madrid of Carson, Edmund Lee Gherna of Los Angeles, Loretta Raftery of Manhattan Beach, Mary (David) Matson of Torrance, Elizabeth Gherna of Lawndale, and David Harris of Hawthorne, as well as great grandchildren Jeff Lorig, Damien Harris, Bryce, Brandon, and Brooke Matson, and Tommy, Caitlin, and Connor Raftery. She was a joyous presence in our lives and will be sorely missed. We know she is watching from heaven with a twinkle in her eye.

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  1. I am truly sorry for the loss of your mother and grandmother. I know it is a very trying time for all of you but know that she now resides in much more calm,peaceful and beautiful place than ours. She spirit will live forever in your hearts and she will be forever loved. I wish I could say or do something to lighten your burden. Just know that only time will lessen the heartache and pain that you are dealing with now. I am sure she is smiling down on all of you right now and wishing she could take your hurt away. Love and Condolences to my special friend Peggy and her mother. Love Always, Pat VanPatten

  2. My Dear Helen, This is Tawana, Athielene’s Daughter. Helen, your buddy Athielene is also here on this site, as is her son Rudy. It’s a small world. Helen, I love you very much, and Paula also loves you as well. As you know, Rudy is also with My mom and with you also. I enjoyed our many talks, Our prayers, and I enjoyed knowing the person you were. You were a great friend to my late Mom Athielene, and I thank you for the prayers you said with me the week before and after she passed. You were a wonderful human, a true joy to be around. In fact, You and Ed were wonderful human beings. I truly miss you BOTH, and so does Paula. We often think of you and discuss how funny you were, How generous you were, and about how beautiful you were. We enjoyed our salsa dips and chips, our long talks about your Novelas, and the many wonderful holiday seasons we shared. I KNOW you had a peaceful transition, and that you and Mom and Ed, Rudy are talking up a storm. God Bless you Helen. I know it’s 2 years late in coming since I just found out about your passing, but Me/Paula miss and love you SO very much, and want to pay our respects to you/your family with LOVE. We enjoyed knowing you the 20 or so years we knew you. You enriched and left our lives with more than you can ever imagine. Tawana/Paulametrius Wolf.

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