Dear friends and family,
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Coco. She is now at rest after living with Leukemia for an extended time. She passed away on April 10, 2023 surrounded by her loved ones. Coco was predeceased by her father Clifton Smith and her mother Joan Smith. Left to cherish her memory is her best friend and husband of 55 years, Michael, her son Brian (Jamie) Rasler, daughter Jennifer (Ed) Scholte, three cherished granddaughters, Jessica, Jersey and Brooklyn, her sister Audrey and countless other family and friends she has touched throughout her life.
Coco was born and welcomed by her parents on March 28, 1946 in Oakland, California, a day the world became a little brighter. As a small girl, she lived in both Oahu, Hawaii and North Carolina before returning to Vallejo, California at the age of six (with a cute Southern accent). She enjoyed singing in choir, dancing at sock hops and listening to music with her friends. She became a pom pom girl at Hogan High school, where she met the love of her life, Mike. They graduated from Hogan in 1964 and Vallejo Junior College in 1966. She started her career at a local credit bureau and then worked on Mare Island Naval Ship Yard.
Mike and Coco were married June 15, 1968 at Dan Foley Park in Vallejo, and moved to Sacramento to start their new life together. Coco worked at McClellan Air Force Base and Mike became a high school health science teacher. Soon after, they welcomed their son Brian on July 15, 1970. Their daughter Jenny happily arrived on September 29, 1972. Coco was always there to help with any problem, prepare homemade meals with her family, help with homework and share a bedtime story. She tucked her children into bed every night with hugs and butterfly, Eskimo and Oui, Oui kisses before telling them that she loved them.
She enjoyed gardening in her beautiful yard, feeding her squirrels and birds, collecting antiques (especially bunnies), listening to her favorite music and dancing to Motown hits. She loved the San Francisco 49ers, the Giants, the Warriors and the Sacramento Kings and remained a lifelong fan. She loved her pets, enjoyed watching movies and playing Mario Kart and Animal Crossing. She loved vacationing with her family in Lake Tahoe and her favorite place, Carmel. From special occasions to everyday moments, we’ve shared so many wonderful times together.
She had a strong social conscience and truly cared for others. She had a special way of being fully present with anyone who crossed her path. Kindness and generosity were traits that highlighted her personality. She lived with difficult chronic health conditions but went out of her way to stay positive for those around her. Even when ill, she always found the silver lining to keep pushing forward.
Coco was funny, young at heart and always added her special charm to any conversation. Most of all she loved her family and making everyone around her feel welcomed and special. She was a devoted daughter, loving sister and aunt, cherished wife, wonderful mother, doting grandmother and loyal friend. Coco touched the lives of so many people and the world is a better place for her being in it. Her absence in our family is profound and we miss her dearly. She will be forever loved and remembered as the beautiful person she is.
Rest in paradise dear Coco.
A heartfelt thanks to Dr. Lisa Law and all of the dedicated nurses and staff at Kaiser Roseville Oncology who helped Coco through a difficult journey.
I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one,
I'd like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories I leave
when my life is done.