Laurene Risberg, 72, passed away Wednesday at her home following a courageous battle with lung cancer. She was born in San Jose, California and has lived in Benicia since 1969. Laurene worked as an Office Technician for the Benicia Unified School District for over 29 years before retiring in 2000.
She was an avid golfer and former Board of Director with the Benicia Golf Association. She also was active with the Vallejo Choral Society. She was the first woman member of the Benicia Lions Club; weekend manager of Rancho Benicia Mobile Home Park and member of the BERT Team of Benicia (Benicia Emergency Response Team). She enjoyed camping, golfing, bocce ball, playing cards, ceramics and going to the symphony.
Laurene loved spending time with her family, grandchildren and friends, all who remember her "lopsided & quirky sense of humor" and her love of Halloween.
She was preceded by her parents Whitney & Mary Heisch, brothers Keith, Neil & Jordan Heisch and her husband Gary in 2004. She met Gary on a blind date on December 27, 1957, they were married Dec. 6, 1958 and later bought the first home built in Southampton in 1969.
Laurene is survived by her daughters Rachel (Steven) DeFazio and Heather (Kevin) Cullum; brother John (Sarah) Heisch; Ollie, her friend and companion since 2007, sister-in-law Marleen Heisch; her grandchildren Lauren, Nicholas, Jacob, Ryan, Kaitlin & Shane; 4 nieces, 2 nephews, many great nieces and nephews and her first great grandchild coming in January. Laurene was a devoted mother, grandmother and friend. She never lost her sense of humor or spirit during her illness.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, December 15th at Passalacqua Funeral Chapel with Pastor Phil Green officiating. Celebration of life immediately following at Benicia Community Center, 370 East L Street, Benicia. Family prefers donations to Hospice of the East Bay, 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill.