Maria Perez was a loving sister, aunt, wife, mother, and grandmother. She lived her life fully by extending herself to others. She was never one to remain idle and enjoyed years of spending her time sewing and crocheting everything from clothing to blankets as well as cooking homemade delicious recipes for her family. She was a hard worker who excelled at everything she set her mind to do. Maria made a lifetime of giving selflessly to others. She leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories that will forever be treasured by all who knew and loved her.
So much of our America’s history was characterized by the year 1941. It was the year that marked the fateful attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Franklin D. Roosevelt was leading the United States into unprecedented times. World War II also brought profound changes to Mexico. It's basic economic structure was transformed and to a lesser degree its political, social, and cultural institutions. To offset wartime shortages, industrialization and urbanization were on the rise. Maria arrived on July 20, 1941 in Coahuila, Mexico to Rafael and Julia (Escalera) Martinez. Her birth brought her parents great joy and promise during an era of great change.
With a large extended family living primarily in Mexico and Texas, Maria spent much of her childhood visiting family between the two. Having not received any formal education, Maria was talented beyond measure. She could perform many of the expected traditional roles of young women raised in her generation. Her ability to cook, to sew, and to crochet developed as a young teen. Growing up with older brothers, she loved watching them drag race in the street. Once, when the law enforcement was called to the scene, everyone scattered and there was Maria left standing in the street. Everyone else had driven off and left her behind! She grew up loving motorcycles, going fishing, doing crafts, cooking, and learning all the latest dance moves. She also could be seen setting up or pitching in for nearly every special family occasion. She had a real knack for contributing her special flair for decorations or special dishes at many family gatherings over the years. Maria treasured each and every family celebration from birthdays, graduations, barbecues, or even family weddings.
But no wedding would bring her life more meaning than her very own! The greatest day of her life was known as November 8, 1987, the day she and her loving husband, Lorenzo Perez exchanged vows at the Justice of the Peace in Columbia City. Maria made a beautiful bride and they couldn’t wait to start their life together. She was a dedicated wife to Lorenzo and loved providing him with a well-kept home. Maria relished in being an extraordinary mother and she raised him with many of her strong faith-filled values. She would be the first to admit that she loved to dote on the men in her life. When she was told to treat herself to something special while out shopping, without a doubt she’d often return with something for Lorenzo or for someone else instead of herself. Being a mother brought her great joy, yet nothing prepared her heart for the love she would have for each of her special grandchildren. She loved each and every one of them uniquely and treated them with her special, caring ways.
Family meant so much to Maria. Each and every year, she enjoyed the trip back home to either Texas or Mexico to stay in touch with her family. As expected, she would put herself to good use cooking large meals for everyone or helping alongside in the kitchen. For relaxation and personal enjoyment, she loved to watch Tim Allen on Home Improvement where her laughter would fill up their quiet home. Proud of her heritage, she loved to keep up on the latest trends in her culture by watching Mexican soap operas. Eclectic in her viewing pleasure, she was also known to set aside time to watch old movies or westerns from long ago.
Kind beyond measure, she loved to give so much of herself to others. If she was ever mad at anyone, it never lasted long, as she knew the value of life and enjoyed laughter over anger. Maria was the type of person that everyone needed in their life. She would do anything for anyone and would often put others’ needs before her own. Described as a strong woman who loved life and everyone in it, Maria will be deeply missed by her special family and many close friends.
Maria L. Perez, age 75, of Columbia City, Indiana passed away on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. Survivors include her loving husband Lorenzo Perez of Columbia City; son Rafael (Crystal) Martinez of Columbia City; grandchildren Matthew, Julia, and Alex Martinez; one great-grandson Deegan Martinez; brothers Raul (Gloria), Fred (Dawn) Martinez, Joe (Mary), Jesse, and Carlos Martinez, all of Columbia City; several brothers and sisters in Texas. She was preceded in death by both of her parents. Friends may call on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 2-4 & 6-8 pm at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services for Maria will be held at 1:30 pm on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at the funeral home, with calling one hour prior. Memorial contributions in memory of Maria may be made to Parkview Home Health & Hospice. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to sign the online guest register or to send a condolence to the family.