James J. Viso believes he has a guardian angel. How else to explain a lifetime of such good fortune? In fact, at 83, Viso still believes he has been blessed, even after losing Vincee.
If I could give one piece of advice to women, it’s to get your checkups.
Vincee was Maureen (Amaral) Viso, Viso's wife of 62 years, who passed away in 2010 of ovarian cancer. At PAMF, with M. Dwight Chen, M.D., as her gynecologic oncologist, she received superb, compassionate care.
“We tried everything,” Viso says. Finally, with Dr. Chen's blessing, they chose quality of life over more chemotherapy. The couple took the whole family on a cruise. Then she was gone.
Viso is not a man easily undone, but there is no getting over the loss of his wife. That is why he decided to remember the love of his life with a naming gift for the OB/Gyn Department at PAMF’s new Sunnyvale Center. “I couldn’t imagine a better way to honor her.”
Viso still enjoys talking about Vincee, how they eloped on her 17th birthday, shocking everyone. How they overcame incompatible blood types to have six healthy children, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. How they rose out of near poverty together to become one of the Peninsula’s most successful and admired couples.
His first job was bagging groceries in his parents’ Santa Clara store. Viso went on to own some of the region’s most respected businesses, including James J. Viso Engineering, Inc., and El Camino Self Storage. He played numerous key roles in the evolution of the Peninsula community. There is even a street named after him in Santa Clara: Viso Court.
Through the years, Viso served the City of Santa Clara as mayor and city councilmember. He was active on the Board of Fellows of Santa Clara University, and he was one of the founding voices in the development of California’s Great America theme park.
In that historic project, he worked closely with his friend Fess Parker, the actor best known for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. Viso also counted President Ronald Reagan among his many friends. So many blessings, and, through them all, his wife was always by his side.
Now her illness and their experiences at PAMF have brought blessings to the entire Peninsula community. Thanks to Viso and his generous gift, thousands of local women will see their lives changed at the Vincee Viso OB/Gyn Department. It is a fitting tribute to one very special woman and to a love that will last forever.