Santa Monica resident Jennie Helen Elms Pastoriza Weese passed away Jan. 5 following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 82.
Weese was born June 11, 1929 in Pittsburgh, Pa. to the late Stephen F. and M. Hazel Young Elms. After many moves, the family settled in Pelham, N.Y., where Weese graduated high school.
She attended Grinnell University on scholarship while playing as a freshman on the varsity field hockey team. After participating in a special program between Grinnell and Columbia universities, she received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia and her registered nursing license.
On Oct. 24, 1953, she married Ralph Babcock Pastoriza. Always adventurous, their honeymoon was spent with Ralph piloting his small two-seater plane from New York to California where they made their home in Pacific Palisades.
Weese continued her nursing career at the Veterans Administration hospital in Los Angeles while assisting her husband in building his patent law practice.
She took a brief leave from nursing to raise the couple’s five children while participating in various charitable organizations such as the American Red Cross, Palisades Jr. Women’s Club and Lawyer’s Wives.
Soon after returning to nursing, Weese earned a master’s degree in nursing from California State University-Dominguez Hills, as well as her diabetes educator certification. Her yearn to contribute to society led her to work with the Stephen and Health Ministries at her church, First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica.
After the death of her husband, Ralph, she returned to square dancing where she met the second love of her life, Tom Weese. They were married Dec. 28, 1991. Together, they enjoyed many adventures, including crewing a private sailboat through the Panama Canal.
Weese is survived by her husband of 20 years, Tom Weese; her children Sharon, Susan, Robert, Dorothy and Nancy; her stepchildren Lorilee and Marjorie; and 15 grandchildren.
Memorial services for Weese were held Jan. 14 at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica.
Those wishing to honor Weese and her life of service are invited to promote quality health services through donations to the Health Ministries at First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica.