Laurel Ann Edwards Gonzales, 62, died Sunday, Aug. 25, at her Sonora home.
She was born in Tampa, Fla., to Elizabeth (Ruth) and Burke Edwards. She grew up in Florida, the Dominican Republic, and the Bay Area of California, where she graduated from Polytechnic High School in San Francisco in 1968. She earned a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida in 1989 and a Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University in 2001.
She married Manny Gonzales in 1971, and they lived together in San Anselmo before relocating to Merritt Island, Fla., in 1980. They moved to Sonora in 1990.
Mrs. Gonzales was an elementary school teacher in Oakdale for 17 years, teaching third grade at Fair Oaks Elementary and Sierra View Elementary until she retired in 2013. She was a passionate advocate for early childhood education.
She was a music lover, concert goer, travel enthusiast and avid reader. She enjoyed hiking, gardening and entertaining with her husband as part of a local gourmet food club. A devoted friend and loving wife and mother, she also adored spending time with her two young grandsons.
She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Manny Gonzales of Sonora; children, Lane Gonzales of Santa Cruz; Roth Gonzales and daughter-in-law Jenifer Gonzales, both of Seattle, Wash.; mother, Elizabeth Edwards of Sonora; sister, Linda Delacruz of Rochester, NY; brother, T. Burke Edwards of Napa; mother-in-law, Doris Gonzales of Redding; and grandsons, Rowan and Milo Gonzales of Seattle, Wash.
She was preceded in death by her father, Burke Edwards.
Celebration of life events will be held at later dates.
Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home handled arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the National Head Start Association, or to the Sierra View Scholarship Fund for Oakdale High School graduates, OJUSD, 168 S. Third Avenue, Oakdale, CA 95361.