Lasting Memories

Ingrid Lion
March 4, 1947-Feb. 7, 2023
Soquel, CA

Submitted by Andrea Key

Ingrid Lion of Soquel, Mountain View, and Palo Alto, passed away quietly from lung cancer on Feb. 7, 2023, in the company of her daughter, Andrea Key, and niece, Anna Lion. She was a friendly, loving, compassionate, independent, and always selfless woman who found her greatest joy in helping others.

Ingrid was born in Dunkirk, NY, to the Reverend Felix and Eva Lion, and moved to Palo Alto, CA in 1949 when her father became the founding pastor of the Palo Alto Unitarian Church. With her two brothers, David and Roger, she enjoyed an idyllic childhood in tree-shaded Old Palo Alto, attending Addison School, Jordan Junior High and Palo Alto High School, class of 1965, with a memorable 7th-grade semester abroad near Bristol, England.

She attended Whittier College, especially enjoying living for a time at Sunset Beach, and in 1969 graduated with bachelor’s degrees in English and Education. Ingrid paired her passion for education and her love of other cultures by spending an adventurous few years globe-trotting, teaching English in Japan and Greece before moving to New York City.

Ingrid eventually settled back on the West Coast, living and working in Palo Alto for a time before moving to Mountain View, where she found her life's work teaching English as a Second Language to new American immigrants. She spent nearly three decades teaching and encouraging new arrivals from all over the world.

In 1983, Ingrid married Eccehomo Junca, and the pair joyously welcomed their beloved daughter, Andrea, in 1984. Andrea was the love and focus of Ingrid’s life. With an unwavering full heart, she supported Andrea through her schooling and career, marriage to Nick Key, and the recent births of grandsons Jordan and Grant Key, the delights of Ingrid’s final days.

Ingrid’s love for teaching and sparking curiosity in children was apparent in her career in the Mountain View School District, as well as to the many families whose children she warmly cared for, referring to them as her “little friends.” Though Andrea was technically her only child, she deeply loved these children, her niece and nephew, and Andrea’s lifelong best friends as her own.

Ingrid’s retirement years were spent in Soquel, at the intersection of mountains and sea. She took a part-time retirement job with the local farmer’s market, still serving people, and becoming a friendly presence in the local community.

Her lifetime pleasures included time with family, appreciating nature in every form, music from Motown to Salsa, and puzzles and books of all kinds that kept her mind sharp. Her life was full of wonderful memories of the outdoors, including skiing and camping in the Sierra Mountains and vacationing in Victoria, BC to visit her parents. She loved attending San Francisco Giants games with Andrea, passing down her lifelong love for baseball as her grandfather did for her when listening to games on the radio during her childhood.

Ingrid dedicated her life to helping others and cherished each connection, no matter how brief, as a meaningful friendship. She is most remembered for her empathy. Her passion for celebrating global cultures and languages gifted her with the understanding that our commonalities far outweigh our differences. She firmly believed humanity was the greatest culture of all. Pure, kind, and giving, she knew no other way to be.

Ingrid was predeceased by her parents, Felix and Eva, and older brother, David Lion. She is survived by her daughter Andrea (Nick) Key and grandsons Jordan and Grant Key of Campbell, and former husband Eccehomo Junca. She is also survived by her younger brother Roger (Clelia), nephew Rob (Kat) Lion and grand-nephew Felix Lion, and niece Anna Lion. She is also notably survived by the thousands of students whose lives she enhanced; she holds us all in her heart eternally.

“From all that dwell below the skies

Let faith and hope with love arise

Let beauty, truth and good be sung

Through every land, by every tongue.”

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