Alba Gafford

Obituary of Alba Anna Gafford

ALBA ANNA GAFFORD A serene, Catholic mass was held in Santa Cruz on Monday, February 28th for Alba Anna Gafford in the old mission chapel at Holy Cross Church. She died peacefully at her Santa Cruz home, which she had named Villa Alba, on February 23, 2011 with her loving family at her bedside. She was 85 years old. Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Alba married Virgil Gafford, (Col. U.S. Army Ret.) who was at the time stationed in Italy during WW II. She, her husband and first child moved to the United States in 1947, and she raised her family in Los Angeles and San Jose, then moved to Santa Cruz with four of her children in 1977. Alba was an expert caregiver. In Italy, she nursed her sick father and brother during the war, and always gave comforting care to her family when they were ill. She took pride in her homemaking, but also worked for six years as a certified nurse's aid in various convalescent homes in San Jose and Santa Cruz. Her family will forever remember her natural nursing abilities, compassion and the special attention she gave to the patients, often arranging for some of them to come to her home for the holidays, if they had no family or loved ones to be near. Alba loved to create beautiful, artistic flower gardens in the yard as a painter would use different shades of blue and yellow, purple and orange, and scarlet red to create a pleasing effect. She was recognized by all her tasted her food, even French chefs, for her exquisite and tantalizing Southern Italian dishes, especially her Lasagna with Italian sausage. She also had an extraordinary artistic sense with clothes fashion and interior decoration. Alba was most dedicated to family and motherhood. Her most difficult, but rewarding labor of love was her unwavering duty and devotion to the lifelong care of her son Michael, who has been developmentally disabled from birth. Michael has made great progress due to his mother's continuous love and intuitive nurturing. For many years, Alba attended events and dinners for the Retired Officers Association of Santa Cruz and Monterey. One of 9 children from her family in Italy, Alba was the longest surviving of her siblings. She is survived by her sons, Jack Gafford, Bill Gafford, Bob Gafford, Michael Gafford, and Ray Gafford; grandsons, Jeff and Scott; and was preceded in death by her husband Virgil Gafford in 1982, and her daughter, Alba Maria Gafford in 2008. Alba Anna Gafford was laid to rest beside her husband and daughter at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, CA. on February 28th. Any kind acts of charity may be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County (940 Disc Dr., Scotts Valley CA. 95066).
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Alba
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel
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