Antoinette “Toni” Marie Conklin, 81, of Valley Home, CA, passed away on Sept. 30, 2022, at Memorial Hospital in Modesto, CA.
Toni was born in Gustine, CA on Sept. 16, 1941, to Evelyn (Faria) and Tony Alvernaz of Crows Landing, CA. Toni spent her early childhood years on the family dairy in Crows Landing in the company of her two large Portuguese families. In 1959, Toni graduated from Thomas Downey High School in Modesto, CA. There she met lifelong friend Beverly Hope (Evie) and her high school sweetheart, Ronald “Gene” Williams, whom she married in 1960. Together they established a small family on their peach ranch in Denair, CA. Toni loved farm life, where her can-do attitude and aptitude for nurturing and organization were a natural fit.
Toni eventually left agriculture and settled in Valley Home, CA, becoming an administrator for airports in Oakdale, Auburn, and Modesto. She loved airplanes and was a pilot in her own right, clocking many hours of solo and tandem flights in her lifetime. She spent the next several years in the restaurant industry and other administrative fields, but her proudest professional achievement was becoming a childcare provider. In 2003, Toni and her eldest granddaughter Lacey Reynolds opened KidHaus childcare in Oakdale, CA. Toni left the business in 2006 following a breast cancer diagnosis, but when in remission, she never missed an opportunity to stop by KidHaus and read the children a story. She passed on her gift for nurturing children’s hearts and minds to her granddaughter Lacey, who continued running KidHaus on her own for another 18 years.
After meeting her second husband Harold Conklin (m. 1986), Toni relocated to a 20-acre ranch in Jamestown, CA, where she and Harold resided for over 25 years until his passing in 2017. Toni and Harold loved to travel, most especially to their property in Ocean Park, WA, where they hosted many summer and fall gatherings of family and friends. In 2018, Toni returned to her property in Valley Home where she enjoyed having daughter Sheryl and son-in-law Bruce as next-door neighbors.
She is preceded in death by granddaughter Lacey Freitas (Reynolds), husband Harold Conklin, mother Evelyn Pierce, father Tony Alvernaz, stepfather George Pierce, grandparents Conceicao and Thomas Faria, Joaquin and Mary Alvernaz, and sister Marilyn Toms.
Toni is survived by her daughter, Sheryl (Bruce) Reynolds, son Dan Williams, grandchildren Branden (Chandra) Reynolds, Ben Williams, and Katie Williams, great-grandchildren Michael Freitas, Tegan Reynolds, Aubrey and Emilee Mello, and Marianna Cabrillo, stepmother Mary Ann Alvernaz, siblings Deborah Jones (Toms), Mark Alvernaz, Becky Carlsen (Alvernaz), and Melanie Moore (Alvernaz). Toni leaves behind many more beloved friends and extended family throughout California, Oregon, and Washington.
Services for Toni are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2022, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church at 22031 H St., Crows Landing, CA 95313.
Reception to follow at The Fruit Yard on Geer Road. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the Modesto Children’s Museum in memory of Toni and her granddaughter Lacey.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Nov. 16, 2022