Nikki went peacefully home to be with her Lord and Savior in the early morning of October 22, 2020. Nicholas Mary Garrone was born January 4, 1923 in Gallup, New Mexico to Refugio and Sidonia Sanchez. As an infant, Nikki and her parents moved to Laton, California and then to the Kings River area. Nikki attended Kings River Elementary School and graduated in 1942 from Hanford Union High School. Nikki was the eldest of 9 children in the Sanchez family. After graduating high school, she worked as a bookkeeper for the Hanford Bottling Company. In 1953 Nikki met the love of her life Leon. Leon and Nikki met as pen pals and as the story goes when Leon drove from Oregon to meet Nikki and her family, they knew it was love. They were married on October 16, 1954. Together they, had 2 daughters, Judy and Rose Mary, and operated two businesses Leons Market and Leons Refrigeration. After retirement from the businesses, they traveled for many years across the United States to visit family and friends. Nikki fondly recalled that her and Leon had a true love story.
Nikki was a devout Roman Catholic and member of Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Church. She taught catechism for many years and attended mass daily until her health prevented it. Nikki was a lecturer and Eucharistic minister at IHM. She was a charter member of the IHM Catholic Daughters and a member of the IHM Altar Society. She was a powerful woman of prayer; praying daily for family, friends and those in need. Nikki had a passion for service and always had a desire to give back. She served over 25 years as a 4-H Leader and logged many thousands of hours as a volunteer for the Central Valley General Hospital and Health Center Auxiliary. In addition, Nikki served in many officer roles while volunteering. Nikki loved to sew and bake. Some of her fondest memories were being a part of the Auxiliary sewing group where she sewed Christmas stockings for the hospitals newborns and many quilts. She was known to always bake several cakes and breads for their annual Christmas and Easter boutiques.
Nikki was proceeded in death by her parents, Refugio and Sidonia Sanchez, her beloved husband Leon, her son in law Sandy Willett, sister Sally Meraz, brother Joe Sanchez and sister Aurora Sepeda.
She is survived by her daughter Judith Willett, daughter Rose Mary Rahn and son in law Keith Rahn, sister Mary Grajeda, sister Ruth Lopez, brother Dennis Sanchez, sister Sara Nunez, brother Peter Sanchez and many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Valley Christian Home for the wonderful love and care they gave their mother over the last few years.
Due to COVID-19 limitations a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements under the direction of Whitehurst McNamara Funeral Home, Hanford, CA.
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