Antonietta “Toni” Abbod passed away peacefully on the evening of July 30, 2023 at the age of 91 at her home. Toni was especially comforted in her last days with visits from family and friends. Her children, Mike, Donna, and Vince, and her husband, Norm, were at her bedside when she passed.
Antonietta Aurora (Ganassin) Abbod was born on October 3, 1931 in Cessalto, Italy to Maria (Codeco) Ganassin and John Ganassin. She was the second of four children with two younger brothers and an older brother, but her older brother died as a young child leaving Toni the oldest.
When Toni was 2, she and her parents emigrated from Italy to the United States. Her father, John, had served honorably in the US Army in WWI. He was an excellent carpenter and craftsman and wanted to move his family to Washington State to live. Toni traveled alone with her mother from New York City to Washington State to meet him, and within a short time, they all moved south to Oakland, California. There she and her brothers grew up attending St Elizabeth Catholic School, and she graduated from high school in 1949. Toni worked as an administrative assistant to the Director of the US Forestry Department office in Berkeley, California for many years and excelled in her work there.
She met her husband, Norm, when he and Toni’s brother, Bill, went to college together. Norm also had a part time job with the Post Office collecting mail, and he would often stop by Toni’s parents’ house for coffee. They loved to go dancing together with Toni’s brother and other friends. Norm and Toni married on June 5, 1960 and welcomed their first child, Michael George, the following April. Two years later, their daughter, Donna Maria, was born, and Vincent John was born three years after that.
Norm and Toni relocated to El Toro, California, now Lake Forest, in 1973 where they soon welcomed their youngest son, Joseph Norman. The kids attended local schools and made many friends along the way. The Abbods still live in that home.
Toni loved to garden, and she could make almost anything grow and flourish. She had beautiful roses, lilies, hydrangeas, bougainvilleas, and so many other gorgeous flowers in addition to her grapes, blackberries, tomatoes, lemons, pomegranates, and so much more. Her garden was her happy place, and especially in her last days, it was the place she most enjoyed being.
Toni also loved to cook, making cookies, pies, and cakes with her daughter when she was younger and a wide variety of delicious meals for her family for decades. She passed down many of her family recipes to her family members.
She and Norm were active members of the American Legion, Post 222 in Laguna Beach where Toni served as the Chaplain, helped with all of the events, and raised funds to benefit veterans. She looked forward each year to awarding the annual Girls’ State Scholarships to graduating High School Seniors and giving away poppies to commemorate WWI soldiers who died and were buried in France. Toni and Norm were also very involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5868 in Laguna Beach where Toni also served as the Chaplain and much more.
Toni and Norm have been actively involved at St. Kilian’s Church in Mission Viejo for several decades and are very grateful for the spiritual guidance, close friends, and warm community that they’ve had there. They were happily married for over 63 years.
Toni was strong, faithful, funny, and incredibly kind. She chose to take the “high road” in every situation. She would stand by her family and friends whenever they needed support of any kind. She always had a clever comment for family and friends showing both her optimism and her humor. And she was one of the kindest people you’d ever meet: looking at a situation from others’ perspectives, always giving others the benefit of the doubt, believing the best about them, and encouraging that kindness in others. She will be greatly missed.
Toni is survived by her husband, Norman James Abbod; her four children Michael George Abbod, Donna Maria Hall (David), Vincent John Abbod (Elvia), and Joseph Norman Abbod; her brothers Bill Ganassin (Heidi) and Bruno Ganassin (Jo); her six grandchildren Michael Jay Hall, Jonathan David Hall (Steffanie), Anna Elizabeth Kosta-Rodriguez (Nathan), Matthew James Hall, Derek Estrada, and Christopher Adam Abbod; and her five great-grandchildren, Rahab Victoria Hall, James Warren Hall, Caitlin Aurora Kosta-Rodriguez, Morgana Lindsay Kosta-Rodriguez, and Diego Alexander Estrada.
Funeral Services will be held at St Kilian’s Church in Mission Viejo, California on August 25, 2023 at 10:30 am.
If someone wants to send flowers, please send them to O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills, or make a donation to the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or any organization that serves and supports veterans.