Living 52 of her 54 years in Santa Barbara & Goleta, she was the epitome of a California girl. Through her example, she raised her three sons to enjoy the beauty in life consistently stating that if “the sun is out & the surf is up, the housework can wait, let’s all go to the beach!” This was Maria, never a moment wasted.
Since the passing of her mother in 2007, Maria became not just the family’s matriarch but their glue. At family BBQs, no one could burn frozen chicken quite like she could! Her doting father’s only daughter among four brothers and then later blessed with three sons, she was a tomboy in heels – she refused to wear flats!! Her physical beauty was undeniable, but her spirit was even more so.
She was a friend to the friendless with a natural ability to make anyone feel like they truly belonged. She worked with special education students most of her life and also hosted foreign exchange students as their host mom for several years. She was incredibly patient and compassionate and always put other’s needs before her own. She was the kind of woman who would give someone on the street her last five dollars. Just this last Christmas, she took her youngest son with her to pass out ham and cheese sandwiches to the homeless on the streets and beaches of Santa Barbara.
In her last months, Maria struggled with inexplicable seizures and the discovery of a recent stroke. Although her health had been on an upswing since the holidays, she had been unable to work for some time. Her three sons have been left with her final arrangements as well as her medical expenses from these past months on top of the extreme grief of losing their beloved mother. Any assistance is greatly appreciated as they try to fulfill their mother’s legacy of living life to the fullest and focusing on the beauty of every moment.
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