Obituaries & Tributes
date of birth July 7 1956
date of death April 28 2020
Monica Kmetz-Gonzalez, mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend who inspired many through her kindness and love of learning and plants, passed away on April 28, 2020 at her home in Beaverton, Oregon. She was 63 years old.
Monica was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 7, 1956, the daughter of John Francis Kmetz and Mary Slimack Kmetz, and was the youngest of five children. As a child, her siblings liked to call her “Shorty”. She was raised in Lakewood, Ohio and moved to Columbus after enrolling at The Ohio State University, where she received a B.S. in Agriculture with a major in Horticulture in 1978. After graduation she began working as a Research Assistant and later as a Research Associate for the OSU Department of Horticulture. Monica loved her career at OSU, which spanned 27 years.
In 2005, she relocated to Beaverton, Oregon in the beautiful pacific northwest with her family. There, she joined the Beaverton School District at Greenway Elementary and served as a Paraeducator in Reading Intervention until 2019. At Greenway, she also helped with lunch and recess duty and many of the students grew to love her as a mentor.
Monica’s passions in life were her children, her husband, botany, art, The Ohio State Buckeyes football, and The Rolling Stones. Because of her love for music, she attended many concerts when she was young and during most evenings in Beaverton would listen to music with her husband. Her favorite thing to do was to spend time with her family and liked to go out to coffee, watch movies, and play games with them. Monica loved exploring nature, whether that be going on hikes around Beaverton, road tripping to the beach, mountains, and parks such as Yellowstone, or driving around to find covered bridges. Some places she loved most were the Japanese Garden, Cooper Mountain Nature Park, the Rose Garden, and Fanno Creek.
She is survived by her husband, Rico; children Laura (Andrew), John, Gemma, and Marcellina; and three beautiful grandchildren Nathaniel, Nicholas, and Adelaide. She is also survived by her siblings Konrad (Marilyn), Luke (Maryann), Rita (Robert), Kristine, and six nieces and nephews. Monica was preceded in death by her parents John and Mary, and by her brother-in-law, John L. “Jack” Saladini.
No funeral service will be held. There is no “in lieu of flowers” in this case! A true plant lady, Monica also cultivated compassion and encouraged those around her. So instead, please consider buying flowers to enjoy and/or give to others, or simply appreciate the beauty of flowers around you - in your yard, in a park, etc. Monica’s favorite plants and flowers were tomatoes, violets, tulips, black eyed susans, and everything in between.
38 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Anna Gonzalez
Candle lit by The Dochertys The story of Monica’s life, as beautifully written as it was lived.
Candle lit by Cheryl Sroufe A dear friend, you will be missed. Love, Cheryl
Candle lit by Rita Jordan I will miss you terribly my little sister. You were a wonderful wife, mother, sister and friend to many. I will forever cherish our special bond and times we spent together. May you enjoy your heavenly reward until we meet again. ❤️
Candle lit by Jack O'Haver You are loved and missed.
Candle lit by Julia Cruz Mónica, you will always be in my mind and heart. You were a great mentor to me and gave me the greatest advice ever. I will always cherish all the moments we spent together in that wonderful group! To her family, please receive my condolences.
Candle lit by Heidi Pimm Monica’s kind and thoughtful soul will be missed. Prayers for her family and loved ones.
Candle lit by Genie G A light, in the darkness. Forever an example, in love & kindness.
Candle lit by Stephanie, Jared, Brady, Collin, Lily Burdick Our deepest condolences to the family.
Candle lit by Stephanie, Jared, Brady, Collin, Lily Burdick Our deepest condolences to the family. May this candle bring you peace and comfort.
Candle lit by Joan and Mark Garner We will miss you so much Monica. Wonderful memories from our time together in Columbus and our great visits in Portland. May you rest in peace . Love, Joan and Mark
Candle lit by Tomi Kluver You are missed and loved my dear friend.
Candle lit by Shannon Staley
Candle lit by Erica Jackson- Greenway Elementary You were such a blessing to this world, you touched so many lives. You will be missed tremendously. No more pain, you can rest now.
Candle lit by Peg McMahon Monica was a beloved friend and colleague. I will miss sharing our memories of Euclid Beach Park and our love of plants. RIP my dear friend.
Candle lit by Candace Goodbye my precious friend It was time for you to go Your friendship was a blessing And I will miss you so!
Candle lit by Parent of greenway student
Candle lit by Rick Green Monica was such a wonderful kind person to work with. She would always have a smile on her face and be there to help anyone that needed it. One thing that I loved about her is during her cafeteria duty she loved to fill out praise notes for the students that were being responsible and good in the cafeteria. To see how much joy that put on the students face getting one from her I’ll never forget. I will miss you very much Monica
Candle lit by Uncle Tony and Aunt Jona Ricco and family: we are so deeply sorry to hear about Monica. You are in our prayers. May she Rest In Peace and May you find strength and peace in the difficult days ahead. We love you
Candle lit by Lynne Cartmill Sending you love and strength during this difficult time! She was a very special lady and will be missed. Lynne and Dean Cartmill
Candle lit by Pam Barber Monica, you truly were a blessing to all who knew you at Greenway. I will miss you!
Candle lit by Ralph and Regina Vann Hickok Monica was a truly kind and loving individual. I am proud our paths crossed during our time in Horticulture at OSU. Monica and her family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Candle lit by Rico She made me a better person
Candle lit by Candace Larson Goodbye my precious friend It was time for you to go Your friendship was a blessing And I will miss you so!
Candle lit by Elise Monica was one of the sweetest and kindest people I've ever known. I'm so blessed to call her family. She brightened the world and made it a better place.
Candle lit by Kathleen Gillivan (Marilyn's sister) Monica was always a joy to be with. Please take comfort in all of your wonderful memories of her and knowing she is resting in peace.
Candle lit by John (Jay) Scott I hope to add a bit of a unique perspective on Monica that may be of interest to the many who knew her and loved her. I hired her in 1978 to be my biological technician at the Horticulture Department at the Ohio State University. I was a new Assistant Professor in the department after finishing my Ph.D. there in March 1978. Hiring Monica was a decision I made that turned out to be outstanding to say the least. Of course, Monica was a loyal Buckeye and was happy to get a job at OSU after getting her BS degree in spring 1978. Her work was stellar; she was a competent, organized employee who could take on about any level of responsibility. I could list all kinds of additional adjectives describing her many positive attributes, but you get the picture. Jim Caldwell, a colleague whose office was near mine, came in many a day after seeing Monica downstairs and said, “Does she ever have a bad day?” Monica got along with everyone. Wilbur Gould was a food scientist who was quite good at his science, but who was not overly cooperative with young Asst. Professors such as myself when I needed a favor. Once I hired Monica I would have her do the asking and we always got what we needed when the requests came from her. She did a lot of planning and some teaching for the lab portion of my Plant Breeding class and the students benefitted greatly from her expertise and demeanor. She supervised many workers and I cannot recall anyone having any issues with her. I left OSU for the University of Florida in mid-1981, but the OSU Horticulture Department kept Monica on for many years after that so, in my not so humble opinion, I think the department owed me a huge debt of gratitude for being the one to hire her in the first place! But beyond all of the above I became friends with her, and we maintained our friendship to the present time. Our friendship is something that I will always treasure. The world was a better place with Monica in it and we will miss her. I feel blessed that my life overlapped with hers for such a long time. My life was better for it. My heart goes out to her family who are missing her so. May all the pleasant memories sustain you in this difficult time.
Candle lit by Malia Griffin It was a delight and honor to have experienced Monica's love of children and plants. The students naturally gravitated to her calm and gentle demeanor. She will be missed.
Candle lit by Mimi and Gary Bontempo Extending deepest sympathy to Monica's family. We met Monica in the early days through Marilyn and Konrad and I remember how pretty she was enhanced even more by her welcoming smile. We are so sorry for your loss.
Candle lit by Heather maxon I will miss your smile, your calming presence, your warmth and your kindness ❤️
Candle lit by Karen Stevenson You are greatly missed, Monica. Your memory will live on at Greenway in our hearts, in the relationships you built with students and staff, through the flowers you planted and plants you tended, and the kindness you were always willing to share. Thank you.
Candle lit by Audrey Fuller Your friendship will live on forever within my heart. May your family find comfort in all the memories created and shared. Rest In Peace my dear friend. Love, ~Audrey
Candle lit by Pam Barber Monica's kindness and spirit touched many people including me. You are truly a very special person who made a difference in the lives of those around you. I will miss you.
Candle lit by Michael and Marilyn Horton Mónica was a beautiful lady inside and out! Always so kind to all. Her smile, laugh and beauty will last forever. Our hearts are breaking! ❤️
Candle lit by Sue Behnke I've so enjoyed being Monica's & Rico's next door neighbor these past 15 years. We've seen Gemma & Marcie grow up & met John & Laura when they visited. They are truly a lovely family & we've enjoyed neighboring with them all these years. I'll miss seeing Monica out tending the yard which she did this last month. We met outside one night & enjoyed together the beauty of last month's full moon. I am so sorry about the illness that has cut short her wonderful life with Rico and all her family. I am confident she will again enjoy this beautiful earth because all in Jehovah's memory have the resurrection hope.
Candle lit by Denise Adams It has been many years since I last saw Monica in Columbus but her beautiful smile and gentle nature made an impression on me that persists to this day. The world is a better place because of Monica and her love of family, plants, and people in general. ❤️
Candle lit by Mai-Lill Mägi Dear Monica. So lucky to be your co-worker, and experience all of the seasons with you, during recess duty with the kids. You always shared your positive attitude and genuine, warm smile. The last thing that you wrote to me, was that you were looking forward to spending your remaining time with your family. We were blessed by your presence.