Florence Bernadette Padron
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.
Florence Bernadette Padron spent her youth traveling around the world and going to school in far flung locales. But it was when she and her family moved to Petaluma eight years ago that she found home.
“She didn’t mind moving around and it was kind of interesting. But when it was all done, she wanted to stay put so when we moved to Petaluma, that was her home,” said Padron’s husband, Scott Baker of Petaluma. “That was special to her, that she could stay put and she had found home.”
Padron died at home of thyroid cancer on Nov. 20. She was 52.
Born Oct. 10, 1960, in Bordeaux, France, to Maria and Pete Padron, Florence Padron was raised in Hawaii, Denmark and Germany, where she attended high school while her father served in the military.
Padron then enrolled at the University of California at Davis and earned a degree in physical anthropology. While at Davis, she met Baker.
“She was very much a lady and very quiet, dependable, very sincere. But in action, she was — she just had a lot of power,” he said. “She was almost fearless in a sense.”
Padron eventually got her teaching credential and taught school for awhile but eventually took a job at Planned Parenthood. That job inspired her to get a degree in nursing.
Padron worked for a decade in the labor and delivery department at Marin General Hospital. During that time, the family bought a plot of land in Petaluma and began building a house and establishing a farm.
“We built our own house, the two of us,” Baker said. “She was up on the roof, helping put plywood down.”
Padron studied the science of farming and became an expert, her husband said.
The pair had up to 400 chickens at one time, supplying eggs to area cooperatives and to fine restaurants in San Francisco, according to Baker.
“She didn’t really fit into the role of suburban soccer mom,” he said. “She was a lot more at home on the farm.”
Padron was active in Live Oak 4-H and an avid supporter of Petaluma High School, where her older son graduated.
“She was just a beautiful girl and such a sweetheart,” Baker said of his wife of 26 years. “She was very capable and tough inside. She was very humble. She was quite a doer — she didn’t like to talk about it, she liked to do it.”
In addition to her husband, Padron is survived by her sons, Reginald Baker of Davis and Mitchel Baker of Petaluma; her father, Pete Padron of Manteca and her sister, Jennifer Padron of Austin, Texas.
Family and friends are invited to attend a funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 35 Liberty St., Petaluma. A visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday with a vigil service at 4 p.m. at the Parent-Sorensen Mortuary & Crematory, 850 Keokuk St., Petaluma.
Contributions may be made in Padron’s name to the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association, P.O. Box 1545, New York, NY, 10159-6078 or to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
— Kerry Benefield
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