PAULINE BARBARA MCGINNIS
Pauline Barbara McGinnis (Chita), was born in Pittsburgh, California and then, spent many years in Oakland, California with her family. Her Father, Joseph Gonzales, and Mother, Bessie, were hard working people, who purchased homes on Mabury Road, in San Jose. Pauline had five brothers: Joseph, Raul, Deuty, Rudolfo and Richard, and one sister, Cathy.
She attended Berryessa School and later went to Notre Dame High School, where she graduated in 1947, with honors. It is there where she met her best friends for life, in particular Maryanne Gambucci and Marie Sorci. Pauline was proud to attend Notre Dame and worked on weekends and summers to pay for her own tuition.
She met Robert McGinnis in 1950 on a blind date. At first, she didn’t like him, but she later reported that, “he grew on me.” The blind date was to the County Fair, and Dad would make horse, cow, donkey, and pig sounds. After the date, Mom said she didn’t want to see him again. This was the first of countless times, she was embarrassed by our Dad. Secretly we knew she loved it. She must have liked it, because they were together for some 65 years. She once told us that she always felt safe with Dad around, because “he could make a fort if there was an earthquake.”
At the end, they were inseparable.
Pauline and Bob had two children, Robert Dennis (wife Mary), and Nancy Lynn. A third child, Patrick was miscarried late in her pregnancy. She had four Grandchildren, Dominic, Denise, Timothy and Thomas; and 12 Great Grandchildren and many, many friends and neighbors. She was kind to everyone, and donated to a number of charities, including Salvation Army, St. Victors, and Disabled Veterans.
She was very family-centered and enjoyed holidays and gatherings, especially Easter, when she made her famous piñatas, filled with goodies. She was a fabulous cook, and definitely knew how to throw a party; her Bunco Group can certainly attest to this fact. Holidays were an adventure with all of us guesstimating how many different dishes she could prepare. There were many. Her pizza, sauce, vegetables, beans, pies, salads, and more, were favorites. She knew what each grandchild liked and cooked accordingly. Rigatoni and string beans were always on the menu.
Many do not know that Pauline was a fantastic piano player and singer. Often, we would hear her singing to the radio, while in the kitchen cooking. The house smelled like cookies, soups, breads and canella, almost every day. She was a painter, craft maker, and decorator. Table settings for Thanksgiving and Christmas, appeared to be from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Her home was always immaculate, with someone even saying, “you can eat off her floor.” She took great pride in her home and made three complete meals each day for she and Dad. It was amazing how varied her menu would be. There was no meat or fish that she could not conquer!
The last twelve years were not easy for Mom. She had to go to Dialysis three times a week, lost Dad, all her brothers and many friends. Her steady decline was very difficult, and at the end became exhausting. Pauline was a strong woman, who faced numerous challenges and met them with grace and confidence. She was the matriarch of the family and did things “her way” to the end.
So many helped our mom at the end. Neighbors Mae and Barbara, who watered the yard and brought the garbage cans in and out—thank you. Mr. Nichols who brought mom communion faithfully—thank you. Patricia, Mary Ellen, Aurora… for being mom’s helpers--- thank you. Dennis Kizer for keeping up her beautiful flowers-- thank you. Edna for being there for everything, including her Last Rites—thank you. Cousin Jeri and her husband Paul who came to the aid of mom many times—thank you. And last but not least, to our Mary Poppins, Leticia, who came to our rescue and gave Mom 24-7 care that was impeccable, gentle and loving, until her last breath---thank you.
Blessings to all the nurses, doctors, technicians, hospice staff and dialysis staff, who kept our mom alive those many years. It takes a village to support an elder at home.
We will miss our beautiful Pauline and will never forget the impact she has made in each of our lives.
God bless and keep her.
Robert and Nancy
To live in the hearts, we leave behind is not to die.