"When she passed away, I lost one of my best friends," Richards said.
Wanting to do something to honor her memory, Richards contacted nearby
Balboa Elementary School -- where all four of her children had gone --
and a scholarship was established.
Principal Lou Stewart said it was unusual for an elementary school to
give a scholarship, but thought it appropriate.
"This has never been done in any of the elementary schools in the
district before," she said.
The scholarship, a $200 savings bond, was awarded to sixth-grader
Nicolas Khalizadeh. The bond will mature when the boy is in his junior
year of high school.
Three of DeSimone's children, Charlie, Andy and Rob and granddaughter
Brittany Clark, who represented her mother Roslyn, attended the
Charlie DeSimone called the award an honor, but said it wasn't
honoring his mother so much as it was helping the family give back to the
"When Dad died, people helped us out with all our needs," he said. The
DeSimone children were all attending Balboa when that happened.