Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maria Sophie Kitzmiller - My best friend since 1986 passed away

Maria Sophie Kitzmiller (maiden name: is Soldavini), born in San Rafael in 1935, passed away in her sleep (cardiac arrest) on Friday morning, September 18, 2009, at her residence in Concord, California. She is survived by her two daughters, Liz Murray (Arizona) and Mary Key (Concord), her son-in-law, John Murray (Arizona) and her long time friend and companion, John Olney (Napa). Maria was buried on Thursday, September 24, 2009 in Tulocay Cemetery where her eternal soul mate since high school and husband, Glenn Kitzmiller (1934 - 1984), is buried. Burial was completed among immediate family members and her best friend.

The Kitzmiller’s moved from San Rafael to Napa in the early 1980’s . Her many friends and associates will remember her best from her retail sales position in the jewelry Department at the former Mervyn’s store in downtown Napa, She was also a co-founder of the former Napa County Junior Golf Club where she provided many volunteer hours along with her co-founders, Bob Ellis and John Olney. Maria was also an instrumental participant in the Napa Valley Wine Label Poster-maps conceived and marketed by John Olney in the late 1980’s.

Maria moved to her Concord residence in 2001 where she became a member of the local home association’s Southend Hookers Club, which is a social knitting group donating their finished products to local hospitals and other organizations. She was also an active member of the weekly Pleasant Hill Senior Dance group. Maria totally enjoyed gardening and growing vegetables at her home. She loved taking extends rides along the back roads throughout the Bay Area.

Plans are being completed for a Celebration of Life social in Napa and at Maria’s housing association in Concord. Please watch for an announcement at

Burial arrangements were completed through Tulocay Funeral Directors. Please feel free to sign the on-line guestbook for her at