Obituary: Leilani June Scheetz

Loving wife of 62 years, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, volunteer

Longtime Claremont resident, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother Leilani June Scheetz died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on December 15 at the age of 85.

“Throughout her life she was an anchor for her family and an inspiration to those around her,” her family shared. “She absolutely loved life.”

Leilani was born in Los Angeles on May 31, 1937, the second of four children. She spent her youth in Highland Park where she would often take the little red Pacific Electric trains into Los Angeles with her cousin Gale and her grandma June. When she was nine years old her family moved to Alhambra. She attended Saint Therese Carmelite School during her elementary years, then San Gabriel Mission High, graduating in 1955.

After high school she pursued interests in business administration, swimming, modeling, and volunteer work. In November 1959 she met Larry Scheetz, the love of her life, at a Catholic youth dance in South Pasadena. They were married one year later in Saint Therese Roman Catholic Church in Alhambra. The couple later moved to Claremont, where they raised their four children, Mark, Steve, Dean, and Lisa.

“Leilani was the heart of the family,” her family said. “She always took time to ensure they knew she loved them and was proud of them. For many years she held elaborate parties to celebrate holidays and milestones in the lives of her family and friends.  She maintained an extensive calendar to keep track of all the important dates for her loved ones, always remembering them with good wishes and thoughtful, personalized gifts. Throughout her life, she maintained a profound interest in understanding everyone around her in a deep and caring way.

“Leilani’s zest for life was contagious to all who knew her.”

In the early family years, she often spent summer weekends in the California deserts where she rode motorcycles with her husband, sons and their “desert rat” community. Later she enjoyed extended family camping trips at the beach where she would show off her swimming skills during the day and be the life of the party at night.

As her children grew older, she became heavily involved with her local community. She generously volunteered her time and received several awards for her outstanding work in youth counseling. “She had many friends and was there for everyone, especially when the chips were down,” her family added.

She was preceded in death by her daughter Lisa Valerie Cleveland, and her sister Connie Schnell.

She is survived by Larry Scheetz, her loving husband of 62 years; sons Mark, Steve, and Dean; siblings Donna and Dean; grandchildren Laura, Krista, David, Riley, Skyler, Berklee; and great-grandchildren Madison, Caden, Kylee, and Latham.

The Scheetz family gives all of her caregivers their warmest gratitude for their loving care over the last 10 years.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 7 at Todd Memorial Chapel, 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711.

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