Eliza Brown Struthers, age 68, raised in Livermore, passed away peacefully on Dec. 28, 2020, at her care home in Walnut Creek, California.
A memorial service will be held at a future date at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where she will be interred along with her predeceased parents, Athalia “Thale” Dulebohn Struthers and William “Bill” Struthers, who died in 1993 and 2000, respectively.
Eliza, known to family and friends as “Liza,” was born in San Francisco on Nov. 22, 1952. She attended primary and secondary schools in Livermore along with her five siblings and where her father practiced law and her mother ran the family household and had her weaving studio.
Liza graduated from the University of California in Davis, California, in 1975, with a degree in German and briefly pursued graduate degrees in linguistics and speech and language pathology. She excelled as a pianist and taught lessons and tuned pianos. Liza was fluent in German and loved learning languages, including Turkish.
In 1982, while apprenticing to be an electrician, Liza suffered a tragic life-changing car accident, suffering serious traumatic brain injury in a head-on freeway collision caused by a wrong-way driver. After extended rehabilitation services, she was able to drive again. Although she never worked, she volunteered in early childhood classrooms reading to children and took classes to be a teacher’s assistant.
She lived in Santa Cruz, California, where she met and married James “Jim” Finta, her local letter carrier, in 1995. Liza and Jim resided in Eureka, California and later in Hilo, Hawaii, near her step-sister, Julie Rounds Lee, during their 25-year partnership. Liza moved back to California in 2017 due to health issues.
Throughout her life, Liza loved playing classical music on the piano, spending time with her numerous cats, traveling to be with family and friends, going to the beach, and more recently, attending church and playing the organ at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Mountain View, Hawaii.
Eliza is survived by her step-mother, Beverley Rounds Struthers of Pleasanton; her five siblings, Charlene Polan (Jonathan Polan) of New York, Polly Struthers (Peter Davidow) of North Grafton, Massechusetts, Mitchell Struthers (Anne Struthers) of Alamo, California, John Struthers (Jean Struthers) of Sacramento, California, and Mary Pan (Stephen Pan) of South San Francisco; her step-sister, Julie Rounds Lee of Mountain View, Hawaii; Jim Finta, her life partner of Hilo, Hawaii; her step-son, Brett Finta of Eureka, California; her step-daughter, Genessa Arias of Atlanta, Georgia; five nephews, Sam Polan, Michael Polan, Jackson Davidow, Eli Davidow, and Todd Struthers; five nieces, Emlyn Struthers, Hillary Struthers, Jane Struthers, Julianna Struthers, and Haley Pan; her aunt, Molly Jackson of Dana Point, California; and her uncle, The Rev. Richard G. Johns of West Vancouver, B.C.
Honoring Liza’s love of music, The Eliza Struthers Memorial Church Organ Fund has been established at her parish in Hawaii, St. Theresa Catholic Church, to purchase a new organ or to upgrade the existing church organ. Online donations may be made at www.stcmv.org or mailed to P.O. Box 37, Mountain View, Hawaii, 96771. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated.
Liza’s family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Diablo Assisted Living I of Walnut Creek, especially to Jill Bragg, Cheisa and John Verdaguer, Aileen Tica, and all the caretakers; ACE Home Health and Hospice of Orinda, California, especially Ninia Villanueva, RN, CHPN; and Toben Torres of Functional Fitness of Antioch, California.