December 10, 1910 ~ November 25, 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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