Thursday, April 7, 2011

Remembering Jo ...

We have created this blog to celebrate the life of Joanne Saeta. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, friend and mentor and we miss her dearly!
Please feel free to add a comment below any of the posts here. We would love to hear from all of you! Just click on the "comments" link below. You can sign in with your google account and then type in a comment. If you don't have a google account, just post a comment and select "anonymous" from the drop down menu. But be sure to include your name in your comment so we know who you are!

44 comments:

Philip said...

I hope this is easy to work. Phil

Anonymous said...

What a loss for the Terrell/Hixson family. Jo and I shared the same birthday, and often called or near that date.

Much love and deepest sympathy to Phil and the children and grandchildren.

Marianne and George MacCurdy---Jo's Dad, Johnny, was my mother's first cousin. My mother was Mabel Terrell Rogers. Johnny, Ruth and Jo visited us at our farm near Kansas City years ago.

Sandy Saeta McDaniel said...

It will be the little things that will remind me of Mom. Her handwriting on a few gifts she gave Sam and Jack at Christmas; a spoon we all got in our stockings; if I get a catalog of gadgets and stuff I know she would like. I hear her laugh in mine sometimes...I'll cherish it now and not be annoyed.

Jenny said...

I was shocked and saddened to hear of our loss today. God Bless my Cousin Jo. She was a very dear friend to my Grandmother Reva Saeta. About a year ago Reva had a stroke and we lost her. During that time Cousin Jo and I began bonding. We became good friends and I will miss her deeply. I am so sorry Cousin Phil. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to ease your pain. All My Love, Cousin Jenny

Anonymous said...

Jo was always motivated to make the world a better place and her accomplishments and goals
were many. She was one of a kind and I have many wonderful memories of a thirty year friendship.
Many adjectives describe her - generous,, thoughtful, appreciative, warm, kind and caring, but most of all she was a wonderful friend. I loved her and it is hard to imagine this world without her.
Darma Dickinson

Anonymous said...

Having been a family friend for years before I was even born, I have the pleasure of having almost 40 years of memories of Jo. She would often drop by the house with a smile and her laugh in tow, for a swim or just to say hello. She watched me and my sisters grow from childhood through to adulthood and it was a wonderful treat that she and Phil made the trip to Israel for my wedding. As one of my parents dearest friends she has played a role in my life probably without even knowing it. She was a special woman and will truly be missed.
Love to all of the Saetas,
Sharon (Slater) Levy
and love from Uzi

Wendy said...

Since May of 2005, I have had the pleasure of spending an hour a week with Jo every Thursday at my clinic. We laughed so much together and she shared so many incredible stories about her life with me. I always looked forward to hearing about her adventures abroad, her incredibly busy social calendar, what books she was reading on her Kindle and what her children and grandchildren were up to. Despite all of her physical ailments, not once did she let them get in her way of living life to the fullest. Her spirit is unmatched and I could only wish that I could have half of the energy and passion that she had. She was such a positive and inspirational force in my life and was by far one of my favorite people. From what I know of Jo, she would not want us to mourn her loss. Rather, she would want us to celebrate her amazing life. I will miss her dearly and I am truly honored to have gotten to know her.

Anonymous said...

So many thoughts, so many incredible moments...

First, all my love to Phil, the children and the grand-children. There hasn't been a moment this week you have not all been in my thoughts and prayers. The most prominent thought of mine is that of Jo's love, Jo was the definition of love. Ya see, I had always thought love was conditional, that there had to be a secondary motive. I was so wrong, as I grew to know Jo over the years; I grew to know unconditional love. And, together once a week, over lunch, as amateur masters of the universe we would try to solve the daily problems of humanity unconditionally with love. I use the word amateur deliberately because, I was always reminded that there was room to grow.

And, of course, if we didn't have an answer, we would save the question for Phil.

Every morning I pass a family photo on the mantel of the fireplace of the Saeta family with the newborn grandson’s, it brings me great joy and I am so grateful for my journey, I love you all. Jo had an amazing gift of seeing into the heart and soul of individuals, she saw need and was never afraid to take it on and call it for what it was, as it changes for everyone. Jo knew how to shape that need with all of us, it was exactly what we needed, when we needed it. She shared that gift with me and it has made me a better listener, a better person, a better man.

And, I can see and hear her laughter Sandy and truly believe that her presence will be in the many things we do and say in loving the world and making it a better place. What wonderful gifts we have been given and can share!

Love, Bradley G. Land

aaron and lindsay miller said...

Lindsay and I met jo and phil for the first time when they joined a trip to the Persian Gulf; and then again on a trip I led to israel, lebanon, and syia. What impressed us most about her (other than phil’s love and dedication) was her personal grace, humor, and class under such difficult circumstances; you learn a great deal about someone when you travel, particularly to a place as stressful as the middle east. jo was a delight to be with – funny, always a kind word, a smile and a penetrating question. jo and phil were also clearly lifetime learners. They took their travel education seriously –a chance to know, to grow and to experience and if necessary to adjust their own thinking; never easy the older we get. lindsay and jo carried on a correspondence long after the trips had concluded; and jo would share with us those extraordinary trip notes. My mother used to say that life was neither a glass half full nor empty; rather, life was a glass that filled daily with new opportunities, setbacks, joys and sadness. what counted in life was how you responded to the filling glass. jo saeta responded with a love of life, with sprit and with real dignity under impossible circumstances. And we will miss her. aaron and lindsay miller

madurf said...

I am another of Jo's friends of 40 years of having Jo and Phil and the family in my life and what a joy that has been. So many memories of Jo at Oneonta School, at School Board meetings, at City Council meetings, at the wonderful show and tells that they used to have after their wonderful trips, going to see Kubler-Ross the night before her father died, at lunch everywhere in the area, at League of Women Voter meetings, at trips to the cabins in Arrowhead, at parties, at all of David's campaign events, at Chinese American Club parties, at weddings of our children and other people's children. My life, like that of half the world's population, has been enhanced by having Jo as my friend.

Jo always told you what she thought and she thought about everything. She was well read and well traveled. She was a loving wife, a devoted mother and grandmother and a friend extraordinare. I simply cannot get my head around her not being here.

I, too, remember Jo's laugh, but more than that I remember Jo's love for everyone.

Jo taught me a lot about being a loving friend and I will never forget her.

Karen Durfee Bachand

Lora said...

My boys and I am so sad to hear of Jo's untimely passing. I didn't know her for very long. It is said that people come into your life for a reason. I believe that to be very true. I was going through a very tough time in my life. Jo inspired me with stories and words of wisdom. She demonstrated courage. She quoted DH Lawrence to me. She was a rare gem. I loved her smile and her wonderful laughter. I will never forget our short time together.

Anonymous said...

When we first heard from Phil of Joanne's fall, and later when he let us know that she had passed away, it was as if we experienced a physical blow. I have known Jo my entire life (60+ years), and it's virtually impossible to imagine that she is no longer with us.

Joanne's mother, Ruth, was related to my maternal grandmother, and my parents got together with her and her husband, John Hixon, frequently when I was growing up in Pasadena, California. I clearly remember one such evening shortly after Ruth and John had just returned from their first trip to Hawai`i. They had exciting tales of the Islands and lots of pictures. By that time, Jo was away at Stanford.

Later, when I came home from serving in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica in the early 70's, Jo and Phil invited us over to show them our slides and to talk about our experiences there. I was impressed by their curiosity and by the questions they asked.

Jo and Phil were probably the closest thing to soulmates I have ever known. They shared so many interests and activities, loved books and traveling, and were both blessed with an incredible sense of humor. I always looked forward with anticipation to their holiday greetings, which often included family news in the form of poems, and always were replete with photographs of the family they so dearly loved.

After my father died more than 30 years ago, Jo and Phil remained close to my mother, celebrating her birthdays with her and taking her to lunch on many occasions. They were unfailingly thoughtful and helpful, offering her sound advice when asked and support at all times. My mother was simply devastated by the news of Jo's passing.

To Phil and the rest of the family, Carol and I offer our heartfelt condolences. We have lost a very bright light in our lives, one that can never be replaced. But we will always treasure our memories of her and feel blessed to have known her.

Aloha, Joanne. May you rest in eternal peace.

Keith Leber and Carol Holverson
Honolulu, Hawai`i

cass dickson stajduhar said...

My earliest memories of Jo are from Marengo School. I remember her taking the time to talk with me there and that I always felt she was truly interested in what I had to say.

It was Jo who introduced me to Brad Ellis at a SPEF fundraiser at the Montgomery's house... She told Brad that I had just returned from school in France and that we should talk. She neglected to mention I had just returned from a semester abroad as a HIGH school student and Brad (eight years my senior) was a bit shocked to discover that detail only after we were well into a date.

Jo was a phenomenal person and will be sorely missed.

josh said...

In my childhood Mrs. Saeta was a patient, calm and comfortable person who made a little person feel safe and important. Still, I'll remember most getting to spend time with her -- now as Jo -- as an adult at Sharon and Uzi's wedding and festivities leading up to it in Jerusalem. I love what Sandy said about her laugh; it was wonderful. This older generation of Saetas and Slaters (and Dicksons!) passed much of their greatness along. We need more of them, not fewer.

Betty said...

Jo was certainly a remarkable and courageous person. It was a privilege to have known her. Her continual humor with her warm and caring nature will be missed.
Thanks for irreplaceable memories that began for us when our families were united by our daughter Linda's marriage to Peter at their double judge wedding.
Love to all,
Betty and Peter Ney

Anonymous said...

Jo and I have known each other since we were in 4th grade. Later we were roomates at Stanford. We have traveled together with our Round Robin group and also as couples. We have laughed, cried, played and shared our troubles together. I remember when she and Phil met at the Stanford freshman "jolly up". It must have been love at 1st sight, because neither ever looked at another person. I will always have fond memories of our great times together. You will be missed, dear friend. Merrilee Moore Langton

Margaret Wang said...

The news truly came as a shock. I am unsure whether to email or to call, whether anything I say can be of any comfort at all at this moment. I am terribly sorry for the loss. I was so looking forward to seeing both Jo and Phil again this October.
Jo and Phil were most generous and kind in reaching out to me and my mom during our most difficult time. They did everything they could to help us, including taking certain great risks that people would seldom take even for people they know better than Jo and Phil knew us at the time. I am most thankful for their care and patience.
Jo was a person with class. She read constantly, and was always eager to help others. She especially had a heart for immigrants - and there are so many of us in Southern California.
I can't imagine how Phil must be feeling right now. My prayers are with the family, and especially with Phil. I hope that the peace of God with be with them and along with that, a hope in the everlasting.

Anonymous said...

Jo was my mother's cousin, mom's father being Harry Hixson of Upland and other one-time SoCal orchard locales. I grew up in Chico, in far northern California, and the main thing I remember from childhood about far-flung family was curiosity. When my mother and her sister Elaine got together they would tell stories and rattle off all these names. I was always wondering: Who are all these people? Cousin Jo was one of those abiding mysteries.

Finally, during some dark teenage days in the late '60s after my mother and father decided to divorce, Jo and Phil arrived. (I imagine, looking back from an adult perspective, they had come to offer my mother support when she most needed it. Divorce was fairly rare back then.) I'll never forget my amazement, being from what was then such a conservative backwater, the sight of them both striding up the sidewalk with peace signs around their necks. "Cool!" I thought."We actually have some cool people in the family." Cool indeed.

I'm still in shock over this news, and so sad. God bless you all, and be with you.

Kim Weir
Yankee Hill

Zalman Philip Saperstein said...

Hello Phil, Sorry about you loss. It is apparent that you are supported by a loving family. Z. Phil Saperstein

Anonymous said...

Jo was possibly the most giving person I've ever known. I can't even fathom the number of lives she touched and made better by her being there.

During my Peace Corps years, she and Phil gave me a home (when I was homeless) during my vacation visits to LA, including making the downstairs room available when I returned on crutches and couldn't manage the stairs, and when returning while waiting for my new home to be available. Don't know what I would have done without their generosity.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Forgot to sign my name...The Anonymous with the Peace Corps story was Maureen Mehler. Love to Phil and the entire family.

Kathy Spielman said...

To Phil and Jo's Children and Grandchildren,
I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother. My mother, Lois Spielman, was a long time friend of Jo's. When Lois passed away 5 years ago, Jo was such a comfort to me with her kind words and wisdom. She was such a courageous and intelligent woman with a witty sense of humor. Spend time together to remember her and support each other.
love from Kathy Spielman and my brothers, John and Steven too.

Missy Becker said...

I met Jo only a few times when visiting my cousine Brad. Each time she greeted me with love,joy and happiness. There are few people who give so much and ask for so little. We are all lucky to have had Jo pass through our lives even those like myself who knew her only for a brief moment.
With deepest sympathy to you Phil and to her children who I never met but who were mentioned with love pride more often then you know.
Take care remembering the good times

Anonymous said...

Phil, Jack and I were so sorry to hear of Jo's death. We send you our condolences, and to your family, from London where we had the pleasure a few years ago of meeting Jo and you for the first time - nowithstanding that we are both of Saeta stock or in my case, Saetah or Sayetta - my mother's maiden name - at the splendind Saeta reunion organised by Phil - indefatigable!. We are thinking of you. Yours affectionately Dora Black.

Laude Hill said...

Jo is responsible for years of vicarious travel for her friends. Like me, many of us did not go to the North Pole or Iran, Russia, China or Irangai. I can't spell that but its on Borneo, as I remember. We went gleefully because she wrote about her trips, what she saw, the aromas of the food, and the mothers who brought their small children to sit on the American mother;'s lap. SHe was a terrific American ambassador, and the most loving friend to all of us who claim the honor of being her friend.
Laudé Neff Hill

Michele said...

Jo will be missed............We are neighbors on Spruce Street and enjoyed all the waves from Jo as we drove by their home on Marengo and Spruce. However, we are not only neighbors but fellow companions from the SPEF board. I always admired Jo with her envolvement,dedication and commitment to our schools and community. Our loves goes out to the entire Saeta Family
God Bless,
Michael and Michele Downing
Morgan and Mallory

Anonymous said...

Jo changed my life. Six years ago an older woman with a cane walked to the microphone at a school board meeting. She spoke of the school district's crisis candidly and with the authority of one who knew the district intimately. I knew immediately that she was a wealth of wisdom and experience and that I must get to know her. With behavior rather atypical for typically shy and introverted me I introduced myself and arranged to meet with Jo that week.

I was and still am passionate about quality education and SPUSD. As I reflected on running for the school board, one of my litmus tests was Jo's opinion on the matter. Jo saw something in me that I barely saw in myself and she backed my candidacy in word and deed. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am on the school board because of Jo Saeta.

Jo became a mentor, confidante and friend to me as we tended to meet once a month with Jane Shirmeister for lunch. We talked about family, travel, spirituality, physical ailments and out-of-the box treatments, politics and always education. We laughed, cried, brainstormed.... I loved our lunches.

Jo modeled these qualities for me:
*courage to speak my mind
*courage to enlarge my scope of involvement
*joy of living
*open-mindedness while yet having deep opinions
*love for family
*sacredness of friendship
*curiosity about all things
*loyalty and love

Jo pulled out of me parts I didn't know existed. Her influence transformed me. I will continue to give my time and energy to that which brought us together...the right of our children to a quality education whether on the school board, through SPEF, volunteerism, etc... Jo has left a beautiful, significant legacy. I feel so blessed that Jo came into my life.

When in doubt I might just ask myself
What would Jo do? (sorry Jesus) and the answer would lead me to adventure, challenge, knowledge and loving relationships.

Elisabeth Eilers

Anonymous said...

This comment is from Pam Hames.

I knew Jo in High School and at Stanford. We worked together in the South Pasadena schools. We enjoyed each other's company. With all the wonderful things that Jo did, especially for South Pasadena and the schools here, I think she should be called "Mrs. South Pasadena". I will miss her greatly.

Anonymous said...

Jo was my mother too when in 1977/78 I spent a year as an exchange student as a member of the Saeta family and I still think of her as just that: my "second mother".
Every year around christmas I think of Jo who that year cooked not only a traditional American christmas dinner but also a full Danish christmas dinner - now that's what makes a 17-year old son love his mother ;-)
Jo was an extraordinarily loving, generous, open and tolerant person and I will miss her very much.
I and my family (Pia, Rikke and Kasper) send our warmest regards to Phil and the entire Saeta-family.
Much love, Jens Chr. Hesse Rasmussen, Denmark

Kit Bellamy said...

I am grateful to have had Jo in my life - for so many reasons! She was a wonderful friend to my mom (Carolle Bellamy) and just plain fun to be with. I'll miss her a lot.
Last Sunday, April 9, my choir (Pasadena Master Chorale) performed the Brahms Requiem - a beautiful setting of the requiem mass which focuses on comfort and redemption. I privately dedicated my performance to Jo. I'm sure she would have loved the performance. I had been meaning to invite her and Phil to our concerts all year, but never got around to it. And of course, regret that very much now.

Anonymous said...

I met Jo at Oneonta School - our children attended and I became an aide and volunteer. Jo was already there. We continued to be involved in the school community together as our children grew. You couldn't help but become friends with Jo and Phil if you were at all involved in the school and community. She was a wonderful friend and lady. Phil - our love and prayers are with you and the family!
Karen and Jim Madsen

Anonymous said...

One of the best person I met during my time with Reva and still kept in touch with me after her death. I count myself lucky for having a friend like you Jo. May God bless your soul.

Anonymous said...

For all of the reasons listed previously by all of the other people whose lives were touched by Jo, when I think of her, my heart is joyful and I just SMILE.
SUCH A GIFT!!!!

Margaret Ann Abdalla

Pat said...

Dearest Phil,

How do we acknowledge and mourn, reflect upon and celebrate an amazing spirit that is Jo?

Jo had a truly open and loving heart. She tirelessly advocated on the side of the Angels.

Jo’s unconditional love and support touched and changed so many people’s lives. Her joy in every moment of life – you and her family, her friends, her causes, her insatiable quest to teach and to learn, her indomitable spirit to go through and bounce back from surgery after surgery ,remind us that Jo was indeed a gentle and relentless warrior.

Keep waiting for the phone to ring, and hear Jo’s voice saying “So how was your day?”

Have kept and treasure all of the many travel journals and albums of photographs Jo sent over the years. Watched the 6 Pack grow and the Twins blossom. Heard about all of the kids and daughter/son-in-laws, triumphs and challenges. Enjoyed all of the annual Round Robin Reunion updates.

I will always hold Jo close in my heart, and remember every day that the world is a much better place because Jo was in it. She is and always will be my guiding light.

Am Sending All My Love to You and the Family, Cousin Pat (in Vancouver Canada)

Anonymous said...

After my sister Ann Beardsley McHugh died three years ago, Jo and I adopted each other as sisters. We have communicated regularly since then. She was a part of my life growing up as one of Ann's best friends, a link now to the immediate family of which I am the sole remaining member. She was larger than life in all that she gave to others and contributed to so many worthwhile endeavors. All of this while remaining simply herself and truly present with all she knew. I will miss her.
I send my love and deepest sympathy to Phil and to all of her beloved family. Jane Beardsley Lemeland

dorothy said...

Dear Saeta family, i was shocked and saddened to get to Tahoe last friday and receive this email from you all. Jo had sent me the Aaron David Miller websites just days before and i had already been discussing several of the topics with various friends. Like others it's difficult to accept her absence. She was a larger than life woman who's impact will long be missed by those of us who admired her deeply. She was adventurous, kind, thoughtful, generous..just to name a few of her sterling qualities. i remember as a child spending time with her parents, Aunt Ruth and Uncle Johnny. Jo was always this beautiful daughter that i thought was a distant princess. I have enjoyed so much being able to get acquainted and share thoughts after our parents passed on. I send my heartfelt condolences to all of you especially you, Phil, as you adjust to the coming days without her. She was quite the lady and i feel proud just to have known her. love to all Dorothy Shaw Ariens

Anonymous said...

Jo, Phil and I – John Meyers - met when they were students at Stanford and I was in my Ob-Gyn residency training. So we have known each other for more than 50 years! They married each other and I married their close friend and classmate, Betsy Peterson.

Our two families developed in a remarkably parallel fashion. Each family came to consist of three sons and a daughter, in the same order and with the same timing. Over the years as our children were growing up we saw a lot of each other. We often shared vacation time. And all the kids enjoyed skiing on the grounds of their mountain cabin and water skiing and exploring the shores of Mission Bay and the ocean in our powerboat. And we supported each other as each family suffered the sudden and tragic loss of one of our children.

Jo was the glue that bound us together. She was the loving, caring, communicator throughout those years – always keeping us in touch with the pulse of her family’s life – and always eager to know what was happening in our family. When Betsy and I divorced, Jo and Phil continued that same close loving, caring friendship and communication with Betsy, our family, and with me. Jo and Phil participated in my wedding with my present wife, Betty Joan Maly.

Jo invested herself in every family event. Whenever, wherever we celebrated together, and even while we traveled together across Russia on the Siberian Rail, she took the best pictures. She even had the best picture of us at our wedding!

Jo had inexhaustible energy for communicating, and we saw the world through the words and images that she sent in the mail and to our screen. Her take on life was more than what met the eye. Her words went right to the heart. Last year, when we all gathered to celebrate the life of the much loved daughter we lost to death, Jo gave us this prose poem to comfort us:
“There’s A Hole in the world now. In the place where she was, there’s now just nothing. A center, like no other, of memory and hope and knowledge and affection which once inhabited this earth is gone. Only a gap remains. A perspective on this world unique in this world which once moved about within this world has been rubbed out. Only a void is left. There’s nobody now who saw just what she saw, knows what she knew, remembers what she remembered, loves what she loved. A person, an irreplaceable person, is gone. Never again will anyone inhabit the world the way she did.”

These words she gave us now seem to say more about her than of anyone. We are grateful for this site to honor the space she once filled in our lives and to hold some of what we already miss from her.

John and Betty Joan
San Diego

Joseph said...

Well, it was shock to hear that we lost Jo. She has touched so many people in so many positive ways. At the Chinese-American Club meeting, there were so many memories and stories about Jo - how she, seamlessly, became part of our community and how she worked to help people. There was no hesitation to honor Jo with a $1000 donation to SPEF in her name.

I will certainly miss her. As many people talk about improving the community; leaving the world a better place than where we found it – Jo did that. Jo was inspirational to me as a community leader and a caring person. And, we are certainly the poorer without her.

Joe Loo

Margo said...

It is the summer of 1974. I have decided to move north with Dale, but am loath to leave the life I love in South Pasadena, so I am renting my house, complete with food in the pantry. We are leaving that morning in two cars & a trailer, my six-yr-old son, the dog, cat & six kittens, Dale & his 14-yr-old daughter. And of course, the house to be cleaned. The doorbell rings. It is Jo, vacuum cleaner in one hand, a bag of rags in the other.

The woman who speaks eloquently with heads of state, ran a school district effectively, knew how to be exactly the friend I needed at that moment. And she was that kind of friend to hundreds of people. Whatever will we do without her?

Much love to you family members, Margo & Dale Seymour

Linda said...

My first memory of Jo is the huge smile she had every time you saw her. You always knew she was happy to see you. Every conversation with Jo was spiced with laughs. She always had a positive view of everything.

She was the 1st super mom at Marengo in the early 70’s when I was teaching her children,. She not only did everything, but organized all the moms to be active volunteers.

Her energy was contagious. Often she and Phil hosted parties at there home with the complete Marengo school staff and spouses. This often included a volley ball game, fire pit, tons of food and drinks - always a memorable event. We were poor teachers in our 20’s and being treated to a party night was incredible. I am sure this was the start of the Marengo spirit that has continued all these years.

Personally, I was so touch 2 years after I left teaching at Marengo School in 1977. I returned to move to La France Ave in So Pas and Jo was the first person to welcome me back - at my door the day the movers arrived with a delicious dinner. I had a 5 week old baby and this was an incredible gift.

Jo was a giver. She made people around her happy. She volunteered for anything and everything. Yesterday I received a flyer advertising the Relay for Life that is held Sunday and the picture on the flyer had Jo in a wheelchair participating in the walk.

What an incredible woman. Loved by so many because she opened her heart to everyone. She will always be a part of me.

Linda Poore

Marengo Teacher 1969-1975

Classroom teacher for Peter, Steve, Sandra & David(for 2 weeks)

Anonymous said...

This afternoon's "Celebration of Life" was certainly that -- a celebration of Jo, the women whom we all loved and admired. She was honored not only by the speakers, who were eloquent, but also by all of us who listened, nodded as we heard familiar stories, and laughed at the humerous tidbits of Jo lore. The tears and wine did flow. Thanks to all the family members -- you did Jo proud.


Ruth Slater

Anonymous said...

Monday, April 18, 2011


Jo Saeta was a neighbor and friend when our family lived just down the street from the Saeta family. Our two sons grew up, attending Marengo School, South Pasadena Junior and Senior High with Stephen and Sandra Saeta, while my husband Sieg and I enjoyed the company of Jo and Phil on numerous social occasions, with mutual friends through the years. Jo shared my deep and abiding belief in social justice and we both attended meetings of the PTA Human Relations Group where we formed friendships with like minded South Pasadena parents.

One memory from those years stands out. Sieg and I, not knowing of the crowded conditions at the popular ski area, had driven our two boys up to Arrowhead one weekend, to find it jammed with like minded families. Parking lots were full and we, along with hordes of other families, had parked, illegally along the main road, anxiously watching and waiting to be ticketed. At this point Jo and Phil appeared and invited us to their cabin where we could park safely. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon visiting while our boys had fun on the slopes, Bill our younger son, courtesy of the Saetas who lent him a pair of skis as well. To me this is one of many examples of the welcoming warmth and generosity of Jo and Phil, as they opened their mountain home to us for the afternoon, sparing us the disappointment of an early departure from the ski area that would have disappointed our two boys who had looked forward to this day.

The Saeta family contributed greatly to the happy years we spent living in one of the most family friendly areas of our fair city.
Jo will be sorely missed in our community!
Margaret Lindstrom

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to find this site today after telling Phil in an email that I'm going to the Y with the flotation belt I bought to go to Arrowhead. Jo and I paddled around in the lake and told stories. It's wonderful to have and share memories of her great being.
Joyce Bryson, Stanford classmate and Round Robin friend.

Charles said...

There's too little kindness in this world, but Jo (or as I called her, "Aunt Jo") was an exception to the rule. She was a kind and loving woman of unfathomable generosity of spirit. May her goodness forever be as a blessing to those who knew and loved her. I will always bear her a great debt of gratitude for her profound kindness to me in my hour of need.