Elda Costa

Obituary of Elda Costa

Elda Panecaldo Costa, 93, passed away on July 14, 2020 in Sacramento, CA. She was born in Yuba City, California on January 1, 1927 to Gaspare and Mary (Tucci) Panecaldo. A life-long Gridley resident, she was raised in Manzanita where her parents owned the local country grocery store. She attended Manzanita Grammar School, Gridley High School, graduating with the class of 1944, then attended Yuba College. In 1946 Elda married Affonso (Al) Costa at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gridley. Together they raised three children and enjoyed 56 years of marriage until Al’s death in 2002. They lived on the dairy farm, but Elda enjoyed spending time in town, where she could be involved in the community she loved. Through the years she worked at the local bakery, the Gridley Library, Gridley Stationary, and The Wishing Corner, doing this well into her 80’s. While raising her children, she was involved in their activities, teaching sewing for 4-H, and never missing a ball game, swim meet, band or dance recital. She claimed to be the oldest room mother at Sycamore School. Through those busy years, she and Al enjoyed having good times with family and friends. They never missed an opportunity to dance, whether it was at Dance Club, the Portuguese Festa, Robinson’s Corner or in the kitchen. Proud of her Italian heritage, Elda and Al enjoyed the company of their friends in Amici Italiani. She and Al were active in the Portuguese community, where Elda was a member of S.P.R.S.I., the Portuguese women’s organization that helped to put on the annual Festa and other events. As a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, she was involved in Y.L.I., Altar Society and Relief Society. She enjoyed gardening and was a member of Green Thumb Garden Club, as well as Pink Ladies Auxiliary, Women of the Moose and Friends of the Library. Elda loved to bake and could always be counted on for a cake for any occasion or raffle. Elda and Al enjoyed traveling to different parts of the country for Al’s Army reunions. Following Al’s retirement, they were able to spend more time with family and friends, attending Cal Football games, wine tasting in all parts of California, and enjoying their grandchildren’s sporting events. They traveled to Italy and Portugal, took several cruises, and traveled throughout the United States. But the happiest times were spent around a table, eating, laughing, drinking wine and spending time with family. Following Al’s death, Elda continued to be active, working in town, gardening, traveling with friends, and taking the train to visit her daughter in Oregon. A group of widows started getting together on Sunday mornings for a Bloody Mary before attending church. This was the highlight of the week and a time of camaraderie and continued friendship, which they all enjoyed. Two years ago, Elda moved to The Village at Heritage Park in Sacramento to be closer to her daughter. She enjoyed the company of the friends she made there as well as being closer to family. Elda was preceded in death by her husband Al, her son Joe Costa, her brother John Panecaldo and sisters Eleanor Massard and Angie Lenhart. She is survived by her daughter Sharon Scott and husband Rick of Sacramento, her daughter Melissa Talbott and husband Steve of Bend, OR; grandchildren Sean Smith of San Diego, Colin Smith and wife Kate of Sacramento, Samuel and Eleanor Talbott of Bend, OR and great-grandchild Desmond Smith; her brother, Ralph Panecaldo of Berkeley, CA and daughter-in-law, Sandra Costa of Oakland, CA. Graveside services will be private. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to your favorite charity. In Elda’s memory, lift a glass and make a toast to a life well-lived. Arrangements entrusted to Gridley-Block Funeral Chapel, 530-846-2138.
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