Leopoldino Azevedo Soares (Leo) passed away peacefully at home on Monday, February 4. Leo was born in Praia do Norte, Faial, Açores on March 1, 1935. As a young man in Praia do Norte, Leo was a mechanic and a “cobrador da camioneta” (ticket collector on the bus). In 1959, Leo immigrated to the United States at the age of 24. When he arrived in Hollister, he worked in the fields picking fruit. In 1961, he was employed by Hollister Garage as mechanic and later, be became the Service Manager. He retired in 2001 after 40 years of service.
He was a member, past president, and a member of the Board of Directors of SDES Portuguese Hall in Hollister; Portuguese Athletic Club (PAC) San Jose, Elks Lodge, S.I.R’s; a member of Grupo Espírto Santo Ilha do Faial, Lady Fatima Society of Hollister; and a parishioner at Sacred Heart/St. Benedict Catholic Church.
Leo is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Quelminda (Kay) Soares; 2 children, David Soares of Fort Collins, Colorado and Nancy/Roy Iler of Hollister. Leo has 4 grandchildren: Gage Soares (26); Devan Soares (24), Dylan Iler (20) and Kaitlyn Iler (16). Leo is survived by 10 siblings: José Soares (San Jose), Maria Palmira Dutra (Faial Açores); Maria Etevina Vargas (San Jose); Maria da Conceição Carepa (Faial, Açores); António Manuel Soares (Pico, Açores); Olimpia Mondonça (San Jose); Lucia Maria Soares (Canada); Judy Goulart (San Jose); Lino Soares (Los Banõs); and Mario Soares (San Jose). He was preceded in death by his parents Virgilio Soares and Jesuina Melo Soares and his siblings Padre Avelino Soares (Portugal) and Maria da Jesus Higashi (Canada). He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Viewing will be from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Grunnagle-Ament-Nelson Funeral Home in Hollister on Thursday, February 7 with the rosary at 7:00 p.m. Mass and Christian burial will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 8 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 1200 Fairview Road, Hollister, California. Following the Mass, burial will be at Calvary Cemetery on Hillcrest Road.