|Pellandini, Thelma Cliff, "Nana", 96, a Sonoma Native, passed away in Sonoma on Feb. 26, 2010.
Thelma Pearl Cliff was born on June 30, 1913 to Ernest and Pearl Bridges Cliff in El Verano.
Thelma's father came to Sonoma in 1904 when he purchased a ranch in El Verano. He met his future wife, while retrieving his mail from the community mailboxes on the corner of Orange Ave. and Grove St. which in those days was a social activity. They married in 1905 and started their family. Thelma and her 5 siblings grew up on their EH Cliff & Sons chicken ranch that remained on Grove St. until the fire of 1961 that wiped out most of El Verano. Thelma's mother died at age 38 when Thelma was just 12 years old. That left her and her two sisters, with the help of their grandmother Hermine Pearl "Minnie" Freck, to care for their father. Thelma went to El Verano School and graduated from Sonoma Valley High in 1931. In 1934 she married Louis "Louie" Pellandini, moved to Chase St. and started their family . In 1949 Louie and Thelma moved their family to the chicken ranch to care for her ailing father and help run the ranch. The yellow two-story house built in 1934 by Thelma's brother Walter, on the corner of Orange Ave. and Grove St. is where Louie and Thelma lived until they divorced in 1975.
Thelma was preceded in death by her daughter Barbara Koeller, brothers Walter, Howard and Stanley Cliff and her sister Irma Sauvé. She's survived by her sister Lillian Cornelius, sons Donald and David Pellandini, grandchildren Kristi Magnani, Karen Stall, Brian Koeller, Jan Jones, Shelley Neilson, Terrie Heon, Bret and Bart Pellandini, great grandchildren Kyle and Connor Magnani, Kaylin and Dillon Stall, Travis and Lucas Koeller and son-in-law Paul Koeller.
Thelma was an extremely hard worker and had tons of energy up until she was diagnosed with Dementia a few years ago. She loved to dance and could still touch her toes up until age 90. At family gatherings, she loved to socialize and was the life of the party. We'll miss our Nana.
After 28 years of service, Thelma retired from Pacific Telephone in 1978 . During her retirement, Thelma was a member and volunteered her time at the United Methodist Church in their Rummage Room and a 66 year member of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Sonoma Parlor where she held every officer position. She was also a member of the NDGW Past Presidents Assoc. and the Telephone Pioneers of America.
Thelma spent the last 3 years of her life living at Maria's Oak Tree Home where the wonderful staff doted on her. Thank you Maria, Ben, Mely, Edith and Ana for taking such wonderful care of our Nana. Also, thank you to Hospice by the Bay for helping Nana the last few months of her life.
At her request, there will be no funeral services. Private inurnment will take place at Mountain Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Sonoma Parlor #209, 490 West Spain Street, Sonoma, CA 95476. Cremation by Mission Cremation Service under the direction of Duggan's Mission Chapel.