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Ethel “Sammee” Appel

03/06/1926 - 07/02/2016
Service Date: 07/18/2016
Service Time: 11:00 AM
Service Location: Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, 1301 El Camino Real, Colma, California, 94014

Ethel ‘Sammee’ Appel died of Alzheimer’s Disease and pneumonia, surrounded by family in Mesa, Arizona.

She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 69 years, Norman, formerly of Del Mar, California, sister, Lenice Schneider of Pacifica, California, sister-in-law Sylvia Appel of Santa Rosa, California, daughters Lori Diquattro of Mesa, Arizona, Adriane Appel of Danville, California and son Jeffrey Appel of Poway, California, grandsons Wes, Ryan and Jeremy Diquattro and Michael Appel and nine great-grandchildren.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Ethel contributed to the WWII effort developing top-secret aerial photography. After meeting and marrying Norman Appel, the couple moved to Concord and Walnut Creek where they raised their family.

Ethel enjoyed the theatrical arts, singing and acting in productions with the Lafayette Dramateurs and Temple Beth Isaiah in Lafayette, California. Ethel was active in school PTA’s supporting her children’s education. While managing family rental properties, Ethel discovered her business abilities and enjoyed a successful, life-long career in the real estate industry. In the late sixties, after becoming a California real estate broker, Sammee partnered with another broker to open Aquarius Realty, one of the first female owned and operated real estate companies in Contra Costa County.

In retirement, Sammee pursued her love of writing, winning first and second place in the non-fiction categories with the San Diego Writer’s Guild. She also wrote over 350 pages comprising her life history and genealogy.

Funeral services will be held Monday, July 18, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, 1301 El Camino Real, Colma, California. There will be an open casket viewing in the chapel at 10:45 AM. Please be in the chapel at 10:30 AM to participate. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Alzheimer’s research.

There will be a luncheon at 12:30 PM, immediately following the funeral service, at Chevy’s, 141 Hickey Blvd, S. San Francisco, CA 94080. Phone: 650-755-1617

Funeral arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, Mesa, Arizona.


  • John & Patty Schneider

    What a wonderful life. I have great memories of us all together. I truly enjoyed reading her writings. Love to all. John

  • Ginger Johnson

    Ethel was very important to my life, especially the years of growing up in Walnut Creek also as a best friend to Adriane. I’m glad she is at peace, such a wonderful & warm heart. I’ll miss her deeply, my heart goes out to the family I love so much!


  • Wes and Jenny Diquattro

    We are going to miss grandma Appel. She was always so kind to all of us. All of us are so grateful that we were able to see her one last time. We wish we could be there for her funeral. Please know we are thinking about all of the family and wish them our best.

  • My condolences to the Appel family. I am glad I got to visit Sammee and Norman when they were in California. Sammee was a very special person. Reading about her life, I was so impressed about what she accomplished and I hope to read her writing! My heart goes out to the family. I am so sorry for your loss. Much love, Valerie

  • Marty Schneider

    Sammee, (Ethel) was my Aunt. She was also my late brother Deans Aunt. She was My Fathers sister and my dear late Mother’s sister-n-law. She was also my late Uncle Marvin’s sister as well as my Aunt Lenice’s sister. My childhood memories of my Aunt SAMMEE are of her and my Uncle Norm and they’re 3 kids who are my 1st cousins. The Appels lived in Concord and Walnut Creek. Having lived in San Francisco whenever my brother and I found out we were going to visit them we said…”yayyyyyyy we’re going to the country”. I recall playing with Lori and Adriane and Jeff while the adults did adult things. Aunt SAMMEE would always have a snack or a refreshing drink for us. They had a really cool home too. Aunt SAMMEE always cooked up a great meal especially Thansgiving Turkey and all the fixins. Once Adriane ate cranberry sauce with a spoon out of the Ocean Spray can. Never forgot that. They had a cool sunken family room in Walnut Creek with space to dance. Uncle Norm and Aunt SAMMEE we’re great dancers. My Aunt SAMMEE loved to laugh and travel. Hard worker , loving wife and Mother, was what my Aunt SAMMEE was and it shows cause just look at her kids and the grandkids. My Mom and Dad loved Aunt SAMMEE. Memories are what we all should keep forever and boy are there plenty of those to go around! She had a fabulous life thanks to my Uncle Norm and they’re 3 children. R. I. P AUNTEE ! I love you. Please give hugs to my Mom Dad Dean and Uncle Marvin.

  • Linda Schneider

    I was so sorry to hear of Sammee’s passing. Know that there are so many special prayers and blessings for the Appel family sent your way. Wonderful memories of her will always be in your hearts. My favorite memory of Sammee was when I was a child spending time at the Walnut Creek house. What fun we all had as children playing in the house, backyard, enjoying barbecues and just all spending special time together. She was loved by all and will be missed greatly.

  • Wes Diquattro

    I have so many good memories of Grandma and Grandpa of course. As a kid we went to Del Mar to escape the Arizona heat and she was always there to give us hugs and kisses, feed us and take us out to dinner. I remember going to the San Diego Zoo, Sea World (back when it was good), and Disney Land among other places and Grandma was always there with us. Even when I played at Carnegie Hall, in New York, my parents and Grandma and Grandpa were there. I remember the fun walks we used to take in Del Mar around the neighborhood. What a great person she was to have always supported me and my brothers throughout our childhood. While she will be missed by many, I am grateful that I can reflect on all the happy wonderful memories that I have of her and I know that we will all see her again someday.

  • lenice schneider

    Sis you left us way to soon i only know our bond was very special in my life.If i ever needed sisterly advice you
    were always there for me>I have many fond memories of our traveled roads to many to list here but i know we will meet again someplace in heaven. I will never forget you & your soul mate Norman who i also love dearly>you will always be in my heart .You gave me strength will i need it and wisdom and mostly sisterly love Rest in peace darling Lenice John & Kimberly.

  • Harriet Annino

    Although we will not be able to attend the funeral services, we want you to know that we are thinking of you and your wonderful family. Ethel was a very special and talented lady. I would very much like to read her writing. (Perhaps you can point me in the right direction.) Certainly you have many wonderful memories to savor — a loving family, good times and good friends.
    With deepest sympathy,
    Harriet and Romano Annino
    Frances and Richard Monroe

  • Nancy Wain Beisser

    My heart goes out to you all. I will always remember Sammee’s bright smile, boundless energy, and love for her family.

  • April Schneider

    Mom (Pilar Schneider) the wife of our late father and Sammees beloved brother are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. I also remember going to the Walnut Creek home, playing, the sunken living room. Most of all I can see the smiles on everyone’s faces, see Norm and Sammee dancing and my mom and dad too. I know Big Marv, Uncle Freddie and the fam are there to welcome Sammee home.

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