We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Griffin Family Funeral Chapels: Thousand Oaks
Thousand Oaks, CA
Dolores Didio, 87, passed away in her sleep at home on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021. Born on September 14, 1933, to Frank and Angelina Toscano in Philadelphia, PA, Dolores was the oldest of their three daughters.
After moving to Southern California with her family when she was a teenager, she met her husband Vincent Didio through mutual friends at Huntington Park High School where she excelled in academics and track and field.
Her passion for education led her to a degree in education from UCLA, which she put to good use as a teacher beginning at her alma mater Huntington Park High School and several inner-city high schools in Los Angeles.
Dolores and Vincent married and moved to Thousand Oaks in 1961 where Vincent started his private practice as an MD and Dolores immersed herself in community activities and volunteering as her family grew to include four children. Dolores raised her children to be independent and strong, leading by example that you could always challenge yourself to learn, grow and succeed.
Those that knew Dolores found she was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. That she had a quick wit, outgoing/social personality, an engaging laugh, and a spirit that drove her to “do for others,” immersing herself in fighting to “do the right thing.” She left no stone unturned when she backed a position, doing her homework and pushing herself to create bridges where she could and find creative solutions to complex issues. She was a fierce defender of public education that included both traditional and innovative approaches, and she wasn’t shy when defending her position and championing her causes. Many often remarked – “she would talk to anyone, anywhere.”
Numerous causes found Dolores leading the charge to save the Oakleaf Music Festival, Chair the committee for Cancer Society Bike-a-thons, volunteer as a 4H parent, PTA President and eventually becoming a Conejo Valley School Board Member (several time President) for 25 years. She travelled to Sacramento as a state education representative lobbying for quality education for all students. In retirement, she became a Docent for the Reagan Library where she faithfully served every Monday with her library “family” of docents.
Dolores often fondly recounted growing up in South Philadelphia on Princeton Ave., with her countless aunts & uncles, cousins and grandparents, many who eventually followed her family to California. Raised in this large musical family, many of whom were professional musicians, she never lost her love of music. She and Vince loved to travel to many iconic destinations in the US to destinations in Europe, as well as following their favorite Dixieland Jazz Band festivals where she would sing and dance until the wee hours of the night.
Surrounded by friends, old and new, she devoted her entire adult life to making her community better for her family. She had a deep faith and knew that she would one day be reunited with her husband Vince who passed on Father’s Day 2019.
Dolores is survived by her children, Vincent M. DiDio, Angela DiDio-McCormick (husband - Jim McCormick, and their extended family of James and John McCormick and their children), Anthony C. DiDio (wife- Clara, and their extended family of Morgan and Christian Best) and Theresa Reed (husband Robert, Abrielle and Jess Reed), and Sister Geraldine Cantrelle (husband Richard).
A Rosary will be held at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 27 at Griffin Family Funeral Chapels, 101 E. Wilbur Rd., Thousand Oaks. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 28 at St Paschal Baylon Church, 155 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks. A reception celebrating her life well lived will follow.