"Remember me in your hearts, in your thoughts, and the memories of the times we loved, the times we cried, the battle I fought, and the times we laughed. For if you always think of me, I will have never gone."
Laurie Palomo, a lifelong resident of San Jose, CA, passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 16, 2021, at the age of 59 after a short, courageous battle with Ampullary Carcinoma.
Laurie is survived by her beloved husband John Palomo Sr., her children Gabriel Sanchez, Melissa Palomo, and John Palomo Jr.; her stepdaughters, Regina, Rochelle, and Rosie; her mother Virginia Montoya; her sister Kelly (Daniel) Espinosa, as well as many grandchildren, and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Laurie is preceded in death by her father Steve Montoya, her sister Tina Mendoza, and her brother Steven (Valorie) Montoya.
Laurie was born in San Jose on April 10, 1962, to Steve and Virginia Montoya.
Laurie had a special calling in life, a greater purpose. Strong, determined, and fiercely independent, she was also selfless, kind, and loving. She was a teacher, an advocate, and a born leader, who not only touched the lives of so many but truly helped them find their way. Drawing on her 30-year personal recovery journey, Laurie dedicated herself to helping those who also struggled with addiction, and it’s impossible to truly understand the impact she made in this world.
She worked tirelessly to achieve her CAADAC, her credentials in forensic domestic violence, and then ultimately worked as a clinical director in the private sector. Over the past 10 years, she worked for Santa Clara County as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor, and as a jail diversion behavioral health subcommittees commissioner. An activist in the jail system, Laurie helped establish a support group for women with incarcerated children. She was passionate about giving people hope without making them feel judged, while always telling them the truth, even if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.
A major presence in the lives of everyone she loved, Laurie’s family was her world. Her unconditional love extended far beyond her blood relatives, and she welcomed everyone with an open door. She lived life to the fullest through simple pleasures; either soaking up the sunshine at a poolside BBQ or on a beach, finding her luck at a casino or an opportunity to play Bingo, or supporting the Raiders every football season. Her energy was unparalleled and her quick wit brought laughter within moments of her presence.
Laurie was the ultimate warrior in life and will forever be remembered for her soft smile, beautiful eyes, caring heart, loving embrace, and unconditional love. Although our hearts are heavy, we celebrate her life and find comfort in knowing that her time on Earth helped so many and that she lives on in all of us.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Laurie Valerie Palomo, please visit our floral store.