MARIA ELENA GIAMPAOLI AUG 5, 1940 - JUL 10, 2020
Maria Elena Giampaoli passed away at her home surrounded by loved ones on Friday, July 10, 2020 in Le Grand. She was born August 5, 1940 in Merced, CA to her Italian immigrant parents, Carlo and Elena Bianchi. Maria attended Le Grand area schools and graduated Valedictorian of Le Grand High School in 1958. In 1960, she married Raymond Giampaoli and together they raised three children.
Maria’s life was grounded in her love of family, her Italian heritage, a deep sense of community, her faith and a love of agriculture. She was the quintessential “Soccer Mom” supporting her children’s multitude of activities. She was a Le Grand 4-H Club leader and taught Our Lady of Lourdes’ youth religious classes for many years. In addition, she was a member of the Le Grand Community Garden Club and the Le Grand Municipal Advisory Council where she proudly served in a variety of offices. All this while remaining a supportive farmer’s wife of her husband’s professional pursuits and the growth of their LeGrandbased farming company, Live Oak Farms.
Beyond the borders of Le Grand, “Momma Maria’s” nurturing disposition lead her to a lifespan of community service.
She was active in California Women for Agriculture and the Merced County Farm Bureau and was awarded California State University, Fresno’s Common Thread’s “Women of Distinction” award for her agricultural stewardship. She proudly served on the Merced County Community Foundation and Hinds Hospice Boards and treasured the preservation of her Italian heritage by participating in Merced County’s Italian Catholic Federation and its Italian American Women’s Lodge. And, amid all these, she remained an active and devoted parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Le Grand.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her Husband, Raymond, and her brother, Natalino. She is survived by her children Bob (Jeanne), Donna Vaughan (Scott) and Sandy Del Real (Steve), six grandchildren Dominic, Briana, Carlo (Carolina), Natalie, Ethan and Aidan as well as several nieces and nephews and other treasured family members and friends. Finally, Maria’s family would like to extend its sincere thanks to the many compassionate caregivers who took care of Maria over the last 5 years.
Maria will be laid to rest privately at Evergreen Memorial Park, Merced.
Donations may be made in Maria’s memory to Merced Catholic Charities, 336 W. Main, Merced, CA 95340 or to Hinds Hospice of Merced, 410 W. Main St., #A, Merced, CA 95340-4822.