Aug. 30, 1942 – May 19, 2022
Marci Ruth (Heckmann) Coglianese of Rio Vista passed away on May 19, 2022, at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield, California. She was 79 years old. Marci was born on Aug. 30, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois. She was the eldest of three children born to Martin F. and Doris (Adams) Heckmann. She also had a half-brother, Don Ganoung.
The family moved to Elmhurst, Illinois in 1948 where Marci attended school and met her future husband, Albert Joseph Coglianese while enrolled at Immaculate Conception High School. Al was her date when she was crowned Senior Homecoming Queen.
They were married for 52 years until Al’s death. Marci and Al moved from Chicago to San Francisco in 1965 with their son, Peter, and eventually settled in Rio Vista, California where Al and Marci resided until their deaths. During this time, they added Laura and Gregory to their family.
Marci received her bachelor’s degree from UC Davis in 1980 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and she also received her Juris Doctor from UC Davis in 1983.
She was a municipal and environmental law attorney, city attorney, and land use advocate. Marci served her community as a city council member and mayor and was instrumental in protecting Solano County farmland. She also chaired the Delta Levee and Habitat Subcommittee of the California Bay-Delta Public Advisory Committee. She was both Director and President of Solano Land Trust and an active member of the Rio Vista Army Base Steering Committee. This spoke to her belief in honoring the intrinsic value of small towns and the importance of preserving their unique appeal.
She also co-founded the California Statewide Inmate Family Council, which supports connections between inmates and their families through improved communication, shared information, issue identification, and resolution. Always putting the well-being of others first, she exemplified determination and courage by becoming an advocate for fairness and racial and gender equality in local government and beyond.
It’s no surprise that Marci received so many outstanding awards over her lifetime, perhaps none more all-encompassing and prestigious than being honored with ‘2014 Woman of the Year’ by Congressman, John Garamendi, in recognition of her service to her community.
She loved to read, write, watch movies and sports. She loved road trips and marveled at the beauty and splendor of National Parks. In her twilight years, she enjoyed Zoom conversations with former schoolmates and childhood friends.
She was a kind and devoted wife, a patient and loving mother, a proud and doting grandma, and a very generous friend and colleague. She was quick-witted and a natural-born lover of laughter. Nothing slipped passed Marci. She was extremely perceptive. To put it simply, she was an extraordinary woman who excelled at everything she put her mind to, and she managed to accomplish so much despite many personal life challenges and the adversity she often faced.
Deeply spiritual and religious, she honored God and dedicated her remarkable life to selfless service. She will forever be remembered for staying true to herself and for never compromising her values and beliefs. Marci Ruth Coglianese was greatly loved and admired by all who had the honor and privilege of knowing her. True to form, she again humbly ‘Pays It Forward’ by leaving a rich legacy to all whose lives she has touched.
Marci was preceded in death by her parents, Martin and Doris Heckmann; husband, Albert Joseph Coglianese; brother, Don Ganoung; and sister, Elizabeth McEachern.
Survivors include her sister, Ellen Gorelick (Walter); son, Peter Coglianese; daughter, Laura Coglianese Pearson; son, Gregory Coglianese; granddaughter, Abigail Grace Pearson; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Friends are invited to attend Marci’s Celebration of Life at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, at St Joseph Parish, 130 S. 4th St., Rio Vista, California.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the donor’s favorite charity in Marci’s memory.