Socorro (Cora) Pettit, who for years greeted diners at Santa Paula's Familia Diaz restaurant, died Saturday at the age of 67 after a lengthy illness.
Pettit was born June 4, 1928, in Anaheim and moved to Santa Paula when she was 11.
She began working at the restaurant about 35 years ago, waiting tables and greeting customers. "She was the first person you'd see at the door, and she was always friendly," said Rosie Castaneda, a waitress and hostess at the restaurant.
"Even when we weren't working, she was always a part of everything we did," Castaneda said. "She was just like family."
Although Pettit gave up waiting tables several years ago, she continued working as a hostess. She had been scheduled to work Saturday, Castaneda said.
Niece Sally Dronsky of Ventura said her aunt kept her job because she enjoyed her co-workers.
"A lot of the people she worked with were people she grew up with--neighbors and church members," Dronsky said.
She said her aunt was active in St. Sebastian Church and enjoyed bowling with friends, when she wasn't spending time with her family.
"My aunt was a very energetic woman, always on the go," Dronsky said.
She is survived by her husband of 39 years, William F. Pettit Jr.; sons Edward Pettit of Santa Cruz, Gabriel Pettit of San Luis Obispo and Patrick Pettit of Santa Paula; daughter Vivian Pettit-Perez of Ventura; sister Dolores Olney of Santa Paula, and six grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Pierce Brothers Stetler Mortuary in Santa Paula. Father James Rothe will deliver the burial Mass at 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Sebastian Church. The graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Santa Paula Cemetery.
Ventura County obituaries are published free of charge as a public service to readers. Obituaries are based on information provided by mortuaries.