With heavy hearts we said goodbye to our beloved Mom, Grandma and VaVa, Loretta Joyce Fernandes. Loretta passed away on August 25, 2018, at the age of 81, at Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson.
Loretta was born on Feb. 4, 1937 in Merced to Henry Sr. and Mary Soares. She grew up on the family farm in rural Turlock, attended schools in Hilmar and graduated from Hilmar High in 1955. After graduation, she worked in the office at Souza’s Furniture in Turlock until her marriage.
At a dance in Turlock, Loretta met Ray, her soulmate and the love of her life. They were married May 26, 1957 at Sacred Heart Church in Turlock, a marriage that lasted 59 years until his death in 2016.
While staying home to raise her four children, she was very involved with PTA, Brownies, Cub Scouts and 4H and once the youngest started school, Loretta returned to the work force as a teaching aide at Turlock High School. When Ray retired, she was once again at home so that she could join him volunteering for the Salvation Army, United Samaritans and Meals on Wheels. They always made time to attend their children and grandchildren’s school and sports events.
Retirement also provided time for travel. They enjoyed many memorable vacations with family and friends including Hawaii, the Madeira Islands, and several cruises. There were also getaways to Monterey and Pismo Beach to enjoy a meal at one of their favorite restaurants.
Loretta’s true passion was spending time with her family and treating us to her homemade soups, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cream pies. An expert at knitting and crocheting, as soon as the upcoming birth of a new baby was announced, she would crochet a baby afghan, with matching sweater, booties and hat, beautifully fashioned and ready for the baby’s arrival. At Christmas, their entire home was beautifully decorated with her Christmas villages and nativity scenes.
Loretta was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, member and Past President of Ave Regina Y.L.I. #200, member of Native Daughters, and past member of Turlock Golf and Country Club. She also enjoyed being a member of the “We-Gals Birthday Gals” Club. Loretta was proud to be a founding board member of “Fava Day”, a fundraiser held on May 9 each year to benefit children with cancer.
Loretta is survived by her children, Raelyn (Jim) Jimenez, Mike Fernandes, Lori (Gerrit) Dorrepaal and Ted (Allison) Fernandes; grandchildren, Nicole Myers, Grant Parish, Cecilia Fernandes (fiancée Matt), Kayla Fernandes, John Fernandes, Matthew Fernandes (fiancée Jarika), Hailey Fernandes, Reese Dorrepaal, Nick Dorrepaal and Luke Fernandes; great-grandsons, Jack, Reid and Cooper Bullard; step-grandsons, Mason and Max Stocking; brother and sister-in-law, Henry Jr and Vivian Soares; aunt, Ethel Bettencourt; along with her beloved nieces and nephews and numerous adored cousins.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Ray, her parents and her brother, LeRoy Soares.
Visitation will be on Sunday, Sept. 9 from 4-7 pm, followed by the Rosary at 7 pm, at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, Sept. 10 at 12 pm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1200 Lyons Ave., Turlock. The burial will be held privately.
We would like to thank the nurses and staff at Alexander Cohen Hospice House for the loving care and compassion they gave to Mom during the last days of her life.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Ray and Loretta Fernandes Memorial Baseball Scholarship at Turlock High School, 1600 E. Canal Drive, Turlock, CA 95380, Attn: Scholarships or to Alexander Cohen Hospice House, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356.