Obituary of Monica Kmetz-Gonzalez
Monica Kmetz-Gonzalez, mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend who inspired many through her kindness and love of learning and plants, passed away on April 28, 2020 at her home in Beaverton, Oregon. She was 63 years old. Monica was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 7, 1956, the daughter of John Francis Kmetz and Mary Slimack Kmetz, and was the youngest of five children. As a child, her siblings liked to call her “Shorty”. She was raised in Lakewood, Ohio and moved to Columbus after enrolling at The Ohio State University, where she received a B.S. in Agriculture with a major in Horticulture in 1978. After graduation she began working as a Research Assistant and later as a Research Associate for the OSU Department of Horticulture. Monica loved her career at OSU, which spanned 27 years. In 2005, she relocated to Beaverton, Oregon in the beautiful pacific northwest with her family. There, she joined the Beaverton School District at Greenway Elementary and served as a Paraeducator in Reading Intervention until 2019. At Greenway, she also helped with lunch and recess duty and many of the students grew to love her as a mentor. Monica’s passions in life were her children, her husband, botany, art, The Ohio State Buckeyes football, and The Rolling Stones. Because of her love for music, she attended many concerts when she was young and during most evenings in Beaverton would listen to music with her husband. Her favorite thing to do was to spend time with her family and liked to go out to coffee, watch movies, and play games with them. Monica loved exploring nature, whether that be going on hikes around Beaverton, road tripping to the beach, mountains, and parks such as Yellowstone, or driving around to find covered bridges. Some places she loved most were the Japanese Garden, Cooper Mountain Nature Park, the Rose Garden, and Fanno Creek. She is survived by her husband, Rico; children Laura (Andrew), John, Gemma, and Marcellina; and three beautiful grandchildren Nathaniel, Nicholas, and Adelaide. She is also survived by her siblings Konrad (Marilyn), Luke (Maryann), Rita (Robert), Kristine, and six nieces and nephews. Monica was preceded in death by her parents John and Mary, and by her brother-in-law, John L. “Jack” Saladini. No funeral service will be held. There is no “in lieu of flowers” in this case! A true plant lady, Monica also cultivated compassion and encouraged those around her. So instead, please consider buying flowers to enjoy and/or give to others, or simply appreciate the beauty of flowers around you - in your yard, in a park, etc. Monica’s favorite plants and flowers were tomatoes, violets, tulips, black eyed susans, and everything in between.
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