My name is Dena Leonardo. I am the stepdaughter and the power of attorney for Pedro “Pete” Arteaga. I know all the facts in regards to the crash (“Saturday crash kills Tracy man,” Page 6, Aug. 2). Pete was so brokenhearted when my mother, Mary Ann Arteaga, passed in 1995 that he would go out to the parking lot across from the Hotchkiss Mortuary, where he last spent time with my mother, and sit and pray to her and eat his lunch. The chapel at Hotchkiss is in the style of the old Spanish missions and has the feel he knew as a child in Mexico. He felt at home and at peace in this old beautiful Tracy landmark chapel. The owners over the years got to know him very well. I know Pete knew he was having heart trouble after just coming from the hospital a few blocks away and being advised not to drive himself home. He knew he did not have much time and wanted to get to the place where he last found peace on this Earth with my mom when they had to make her arrangements as they were preparing for her passing from cancer. He knew he was heading to meet my mom that night of July 27. It was not about a crazy old driver gone out of control. It was about how strong love can be. He just did not have enough time to get stopped into his favorite parking spot before he started to black out. If you talk to the wonderful owners of the Hotchkiss Mortuary on the corner of Holly Drive and Highland Avenue, they can give you the details on Pete, who they came to love over the years of his visits to the chapel to pray. Also, Tracy Cemetery, where my mother, Mary Ann Arteaga, was buried, became another stopping place for Pete over the years. He and the caretaker of the cemetery came to be the very best of friends because he spent so much time sitting out at my mother’s headstone. This was not your everyday accident. It was about true undying love.
Dena Leonardo, Tracy