Maria Perez (1931-2013)

Maria Perez (1931-2013)

Surrounded by her devoted family, longtime Fillmore resident María Pérez passed away peacefully on March 8, 2013 at Santa Paula Hospital, following a lengthy illness.
She was born María Francisca Morales Márquez on October 4, 1931 in San Juan de Dios, Michoacán, México, the second of 11 children born to the late Adolfo Morales and the late Eulalia Márquez de Morales.
Growing up, poverty did not allow for any formal education so she spent her early years learning a strong work ethic that would serve her the rest of her life. She married the late Enrique Pérez and immigrated to Brownsville, Texas in the late 1950’s where she found work as a domestic and in a local restaurant. Soon after the birth of their first child, Enrique Pérez Jr., the family relocated to California where daughters Norma and Sylvia were born.
María Pérez was an admirable and honorable woman, described by her son as “tough as nails.” She would do anything for her children. From cleaning houses and offices to picking oranges and strawberries, or even picking up cans for recycling to earn a couple of dollars, she did the hard work necessary to keep her children fed, clothed and safe.
Despite her lack of formal education she had an architect’s eye and an engineer’s mind. She put many a macho male contractor to shame by calling them out when they tried to take short-cuts on her various building projects.
She loved the ocean and on weekends would often pack up her children and her fishing gear and head to the beaches and jetties of Ventura or Oxnard. She was skilled with a fishing pole and a crab net and would sell some of her catch to her neighbors or prepare delicious dishes such as empanadas de jaiba to sell and to enjoy with her children. She was also very artistic and, in her later years, took great pleasure in drawing and painting at her adult daycare program.
María will be missed in so many ways by her three children: Enrique Pérez Jr., Norma Pérez-Sandford (husband Art) and Sylvia Pérez. She is also survived by her four grandchildren: Nicolás, Arthur and Carina Sandford and Caitlin Clark. She also leaves behind her brothers José and Juan and sisters Amparo, Otilia, María, Juana and Elena along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in California and México. She was predeceased by her brother Gonzalo and sisters Ana and Santos.
María had been in poor health for the last few years and, while the grief of losing her is so real and occasionally so overwhelming, there is also great comfort in knowing that her physical pains and emotional suffering have finally ended.
Funeral Services were held for María on Tuesday, March 12 & Wednesday, March 13 at San Salvador Parish Church in Piru.
To sign the family's online guest book, share stories and post pictures please visit our website: and click on Maria's name located below "Recent Obituaries".
Gracias por todo, Madrecita. Que la bendición de la Santísima Virgen siempre la acompañe, dondequiera que ande.
Funeral Arrangements are under the direction of the Family Owned & Operated Robert Rey Garcia Jr Funeral Svcs., Santa Paula. 805.229.7054.