Maria de la Luz Espinoza, 86, of Watsonville, California, beloved mamá, nana, wife and widow of Julian Espinoza, died Saturday, Nov. 17 surrounded by her family.
A native of Santa Rosalia, Baja California, Mexico, Maria arrived in Watsonville in 1963. Sadly, Maria became a widow in June 1972 at the age of 40; with six young children at home, and with her newly married eldest daughter, she never remarried; dedicating the rest of her life to her children and their families.
Maria was a generous hostess to all who visited her, offering family and friends her delicious cooking. She enjoyed her large family birthdays and holiday gatherings, often leading a lively game of loteria. She enjoyed Spanish-language novelas (soap operas). Likewise, even though her English language was limited, she was often heard laughing aloud while watching “I Love Lucy” and “The Golden Girls.”
She will be greatly missed by so many people who loved her dearly.
She is survived by her two sons, Julio Espinoza, and Sergio Espinoza (Irene); five daughters, Altagracia Espinoza (Steve Nabor), Carmen Johnson (Jay, deceased), Ana Shallenberger (Jerry), Maria Espinoza, Norma Amick (David); eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her grandson Andrew Tibbitts.
Funeral services are entrusted to Ave Maria Memorial Chapel, 609 Main Street, Watsonville.
Visitation service, along with a gathering of family and friends in the chapel’s reception room, will be held Monday, November 26 from 5-9 p.m., with the recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in memory of Maria on Tuesday, November 27 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Pajaro with burial service to follow at Watsonville Catholic Cemetery, where she will lay in rest next to her beloved husband.
Her pallbearers will include her two sons, her grandsons, David Rivas, Lee Shallenberger, Rob Shallenberger, grandson-in-law Todd Graves, and her sons-in-law Jerry Shallenberger, and David Amick.
The family wishes to thank the Hospice nurses and social workers for their kind, compassionate work, and support of Maria and her entire family. They will forever be appreciated. They also thank Dr. Mark Byrne and his staff for their excellent care and kindness to Maria.
Special thanks to Maria’s personal caregivers, Amparo Alvarez and Maria Calvillo for their seemingly endless care and loving, tender treatment. May God bless them and their families.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the donor’s favorite charity.