American Veteran 04

Pete Sese

March 26, 1922 ~ September 22, 2023 (age 101) 101 Years Old

Pete Sese Obituary

Pete Sese was born on March 26th, 1922 in a sheep camp near Los Banos, California to Augustine and Josephine Sese, Basque immigrants. Pete passed away on September 17th 2023 surrounded by loving family at home in Merced, CA at the age of 101. Pete graduated from Merced High School in 1940 and later attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he studied mechanics and welding. He joined the U.S. Navy on November 18th, 1942. During this time he served our country in WWII on a motor torpedo boat tender, the USS-Pontus, and completed his service on January 13th, 1946.

Pete fell in love with his future wife, Marilyn Cabral, on the dance floor and was married on May 22nd 1949. They were married for 61 years until her passing in 2011. He worked for Jess Rodrigues Auto Garage for 13 years and later was employed at Merced Union High School Transportation Department for 35 years, retiring in 1994. Over the years, Pete worked two jobs to support his family, including the Tony Hendricks Ranch and helping many in the area with mechanical issues. He had been a member of the American Legion, Merced Elks and was involved with the P.T. Boaters. Pete enjoyed spending time with friends and family eating out for dinner, going to Club Mercedes and the Italian Lodge. 

Aside from his travels, Pete spent his entire life growing up and living in Merced where he raised his family. Pete was bilingual, speaking both English and Euskara (Basque) and felt strongly about his culture. His strong sense of family extended to friends, as did his keen sense of humor. After retirement, he enjoyed “going to coffee” at Montgomery Wards, Lyons and Paul’s Place Restaurant. At the age of 94, Pete had the pleasure of flying to Washington D.C. with the Veterans-Central Valley Honor Flight accompanied with his son, Richard.

Pete was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Steven and Louie; Sister Jeannette Polley, his wife Marilyn, and son Richard. He leaves behind his daughters, Michele Newington and Kathy Gruych, six grandchildren: James Sese, Chris Sese, Kevin Sese, Michael Clem, Sherry Newington, Steven Gruych and one great grandchild; Camille Clem. He also leaves behind two nieces Kari Gary and Deanna Tytus. Thank you to our caregivers Rosie Romero and Jessica Galvin, who have become close family friends; and Global Hospice and Palliative Care for supporting the Sese Family with Pete’s at home care. The Family and friends will sorely miss Pete. Celebration of life will be held October 15, 2023 at Merced Elks Park, 3600 Wardrobe Avenue, Merced, CA services will start at 12pm with lunch to follow.

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