A. Pearl Sandoval
Antonia Pearl Sandoval
Antonia Pearl, a first generation daughter of immigrants, created magic in the world. At 3 years old her parents, Antonio Vito and Maria Vita, as well as her 13 sisters and brothers, noticed her innocence and physical beauty. They called her “Doll.” But for them and most others she met in life, she remained a shining “Pearl.”
Pearl’s mission was to create empires of the heart that could nourish her children. She worked hard, using her “spare” time to operate businesses: donut shops: Winchell’s, Sandy’s, Gingham Girl, a Stop and Go Market, an Orange Julius, “Grab-a-Snak” Vending and a worm farm in her backyard. At the same time Pearl held full time jobs in San Jose, in the 1950’s as a cannery worker; in the 1960s on an electronic assembly-line; and for 35 years as an employee of Lockheed aerospace. At age 72, Pearl was the only woman operating the forklift that stocked Lockheed’s warehouse. Tireless, relentless, driven, she also worked nights at Target.
Throughout her lifetime friends, acquaintances and other workers were drawn to Pearl to seek her guidance and wisdom. Her skills as a learned spiritual activist, as a palm reader, pendulum and card communicator helped her connect to many, from co-workers, and her children to other spiritual activists including Gloria Anzaldua, Nancy Giuliani and Hayden White. Pearl taught her children spiritual pathways, introducing them to her beloved Astara as a passageway to other worlds and psychic dimensions. At the time of her transition and death, Pearl transformed her life’s suffering into joy. She shared her laughter and smiles as blessings to all those who came to walk her home.
Family and friends remember Pearl greet blooming flowers with a delicate touch; flatten her hands with reverence against tree trunks; counsel her children to “keep your energy grounded to the earth” and to “shelter the animals and insects.” Nights she searched the planets, moon and stars for messages. Pearl had a resonantly haunting voice and used it as a storyteller. She loved learning. Books line her home on poetry, astronomy, archeology, philosophy, and the writings of Lobsang Rampa, Stichen, Dean Kootz and James Patterson. She was an artist, loving music of every kind, from classical to Indigenous drumming to whimsical Beatles; loved painting, drawing, and living room tap dancing. Many were affected by her teachings, her open smile, by her stubborn, passionately felt angers, dedications, and loves.
Her children often complained they didn’t see her enough.
But Pearl’s tireless achievements were lived so that her women-children would receive multiple legacies. At her death they stood close, honored to witness the transcendent beauty, dignity and ease with which their mother unwound, slowly, her body from her spirit.
Pearl’s beloveds: Machlavio Jose Sandoval-Lucero-Serrano and Bill Ward, her 14 siblings, her three women-children and their dearly loved partners, and all her relations, friends, acquaintances and caregivers join in gratitude for sharing life paths with that of the shining Pearl Antonia Doria Sandoval-“Doll”-who shines now in the light she loves.
Her life will be celebrated at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, CA on March 21, 2022.
Donations can be sent in her name to Santa Barbara Animal Shelter Assistance Program, ASAP, which provides kind care for cats.