Obituary of Donna Escalante
Donna Escalante passed away on January 5, 2020 following a brief illness at Dominican Oaks. She was 78. Donna was born in San Jose, one of five children born to Perry Milton Kuntz and Lillian Hattie Kuntz. She grew up in Watsonville where she was a graduate of Watsonville High School. As a young woman Donna worked as a car hop at Crocker’s Restaurant. She later worked in the coat room at the Coconut Grove Ballroom for Skip Littlefield.
Donna met Rudy Escalante, Sr. the man described as the love of her life when she was 16 years old. The couple courted and married in 1959. They made their home in Santa Cruz where they raised their three children, Judy, Rudy and Bernie.
As a young woman, Donna enjoyed the Saturday Night Dances held at the Coconut Grove. In more recent years she enjoyed Bingo and taking bus trips to Reno to play the slot machines. Donna was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church.
Donna is survived by her children, Judy Escalante, Rudy Escalante, Jr. and his wife, Cathie and Bernie Escalante; her twin sister, Bonna Valenzuela of Salinas and three grandchildren, Mason Escalante, Ellie Escalante and Jake Escalante. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Rudy Escalante, Sr. in 2013 and her three siblings, Harriet Durkan, Perry Kuntz and Edward Kuntz.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday, January 13, 2020 at 11:00 am at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 126 High St, Santa Cruz, CA. A vigil service will be held at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel 1050 Cayuga St, Santa Cruz, CA on Sunday January 12 at 6:00 pm. Friends are invited to call at Pacific Gardens Chapel on Sunday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A private interment will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the SPCA, 2685 Chanticleer Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95065; Santa Cruz Police Officers Assoc. PO Box 8210, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 or Hospice of Santa Cruz, 940 Disc Dr, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donna Escalante, please visit Tribute Store