Longtime community volunteer and literacy teacher Leona "Lee" M. Romashko of Menlo Park died unexpectedly on Friday, Aug. 3, at Stanford Hospital. She was 84.
Ms. Romashko devoted countless hours as a volunteer working in education and literacy programs, and with issues affecting local communities, especially through her work with the League of Women Voters, said family members.
In 1997, she was recognized by the city of East Palo Alto for her work in teaching English as a second language for the Families in Transition Program.
She tutored with Project Read-Menlo Park, an adult literacy program, from 1986 until the day before she died, according to Alice Bradshaw, Project Read's acting coordinator. Ms. Bradshaw said that Ms. Romashko privately tutored small groups of three to five students in various locations in the area in addition to working one-on-one with students. One of her students had been studying with her since 1988.
"She was an incredible, dedicated teacher," Ms. Bradshaw said.
After working as a partner in the Santa Clara-based Bowers Office Center, she taught for many years in San Jose and East Palo Alto. She was well known for the cakes she would bake for the hundreds of graduates of the GED program she taught in, administered through Work Incentive and later under the Metropolitan Adult Education Program of San Jose, according to family members.
A native of Rochester, New York, Ms. Romashko was a member of the WAVES, the women's component of the Navy, during World War II. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, she worked for VISTA -- a national volunteer service program -- in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving back to California.
A lover of the arts, Ms. Romashko was a season ticket holder to the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Symphony. She also loved going to local performances in Menlo Park, her family said.
Ms. Romashko is survived by her lifelong friend and companion, Jean Nelson of Menlo Park; nephews James Marshall of San Jose and Donald Marshall of Fremont; niece Tamara Smith of Patterson, California; and many grand- and great-grand-nieces and nephews.
She requested that no services be held, and that memorial donations be made to charities for the poor and disadvantaged. Condolences may be made at her Web site: http://www.lee-romashko.memory-of.com .