Obituary of Lila Grace Rampone
Family and friends will gather on Sunday June 4 to say farewell to a loving wife, mother, and trusted friend, Lila Rampone who passed away at her Watsonville home with her loving family at her bedside. Lila was born in Shreveport, LA. to Colonel Ellsworth Powell and Betty Fink Powell. As the daughter of an Air Force officer, Lila resided near many Air Force Base locations including Del Rio, TX., Guam, Bellevue, NB., Tucson, AZ., and Fairborn, OH., where she graduated from Fairborn Baker High School as a member of the “Flyerettes” cheerleading squad. Having spent most summers of her childhood vacationing in Capitola, she returned there where her parents retired in 1970. Lila went on to attend Cabrillo College and earned her Associate’s Degree in 1972 and B.A. Degree in Sociology in 1974 from Chico State University.
It was during this time that she met her future husband Randy Rampone and the couple were married on October 22, 1977 at St. John Episcopal Church in Capitola. Lila then decided to go back to school and entered the Cabrillo College Nursing Program in 1978. She achieved an Associate’s Degree as an LVN in 1981. Over the years, Lila put her LVN training to good use as a caregiver and babysitter for her family and friends.
She was an accomplished bowler and she and Randy bowled together on several teams, winning a few first place trophies along the way with their good friends Terri Oberto and Tim Kennedy.
Lila was also a member of Monterey Bay Area Cactus and Succulent Society, joining in 2016. She became dear friends of Carol Marchbank, Shirley Amadon, and Dorothy Hurley who were devoted cactus buffs.
Eventually Lila found her passion in the game of Cornhole. Many fond memories will continue to be shared of the Cornhole tournaments in Terri Oberto’s backyard where Lila and Randy were matched up against Terri and the ‘BIG WAVE’ team "Neighbors vs. Watsonville". Lila excelled at making corn holes, winning most of the time.
What will be missed most of all will be gatherings held at the home of Gloria and Frank Barsamela for special occasions including birthdays, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and going to Terri Oberto’s home on game day to cheer on the 49ers. Lila also cherished the never missed - weekly conversations with her dear friend Laurie Conner.
Lila’s daughter Chelsea Rampone remembered her mom as the ultimate soccer mom for more than 30 years; never missing a game. Chelsea recalled that her mom was everyone’s #1 fan; driving Chelsea and all of her teammates to their practices, games, and taking them back home. Chelsea went on to describe her mother’s competitive nature and said, ”She was there for us all, even in the pouring rain and coming prepared with first aid to take care of cuts and bruises from a rough match, and orange slices to keep us energized.” “I am so thankful for my mom, who routinely kept my uniform clean and free of grass stains." "She was always able to find my misplaced soccer bag.” “Mom, while you may not be in the stands anymore, I can close my eyes and still hear you in my heart.”
Lila’s son, Jason Rampone said that he and his sister were very fortunate growing up having a “stay at home mom” which was much more common in those times. Jason remarked, “Even by the standards of the times, my mom was an exceptional example of a stay at home parent.” “She was the most devoted wife and mother one could imagine, and cared deeply for her family, friends and neighbors.” “Our mom did this not out of obligation, but because that’s just who she was; always the first to offer help.” “She ensured that every child who crossed her path would be safe, healthy, and happy.”
Lila is survived by her loving husband of 46 years, Randy, her daughter and son Chelsea and Jason, her brother and sister-in-law, George and Sherry Powell; brother and sister-in-law Ellsworth and Jan Powell; her sister-in-law Kathy Powell; brother-in-law Lido Gemignani; and sisters-in-law Cindy Johnson and Lisa Jolin, along with countless loving nieces, nephews and extended family.
A celebration of her life will be on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at Holy Cross Church Hall (170 High Street) in Santa Cruz, beginning at 3 p.m. A private committal took place previously at Holy Cross Mausoleum in Santa Cruz. In lieu of flowers, a kind act of charity in Lila’s name can be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County (940 disc Drive, Scotts Valley, 95066.)