Obituary of Mary Elvia Avitia
Written by her daughter Melissa Avitia Turpin
"Mom, thank you for bringing me into this world. I was very blessed to have you as my Mom. You were the best Mom ever! My life will never be the same without you. My heart aches for you each day that passes. I miss you oh so very much. I know you are always with me in spirit, which brings me comfort and peace. You hold a special place in my heart." -Your Daughter Melissa
"Mom, my life will never be the same without you. Miss you oh so very much. I so want to pick up the phone and call you, but I can't. I truly miss our daily talks. Thank you for being so good to me and my little family. I was very blessed to have you as my Mom. You were the best Mom ever! You were also the best Nana ever to my children! Forever in our hearts." -Your Daughter Melissa
Mary Elvia Avitia sadly passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in her sleep on March 26, 2022 at the young age of 70 in her beautiful home located in Ahwatukee (Phoenix), Arizona.
Mary was born on July 22, 1951 in East Los Angeles (in a car) to Josefina Becerra Tejeda and Celestino Gomez Rendon, and was one of thirteen children and she was the first daughter born. Her parents were extremely delighted to have their first precious daughter Mary in their lives. Mary grew up in San Diego, California.
Mary came from a large family and did not have much growing up. At the age of fourteen, her Mom was kidnapped by her Dad in Mexico and he brought her to the United States and they made their home in San Diego, California. Her Dad was a hard worker. He was a construction worker who worked on the freeways and roads during the day. He was also a farmer in the early mornings, evenings and on the weekends. His first priority was to make sure that there was plenty of food on the table for his family at all times, which according to Mary, there was always plenty of food for everyone in her fast-growing family. They lived on a ranch and her family raised chickens, goats, pigs and cows. Mary sorted out the produce that was harvested from the farming field while her older siblings actually worked in the farming field. Her Mom was a domestic engineer and loved being a Mom and said she wished she could have had more children. She truly adored her daughter Mary. When Mary was old enough, she helped her Mom with taking care of her younger siblings. Mary loved her siblings.
Mary went to Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, California. While attending Mar Vista High School, Mary was in the food service vocational class and worked as a waitress at Oscar's Restaurant. She also worked in the office at Southwest Junior High School. After graduation, Mary had planned to work as a secretary and had planned to attend college on a part time basis. She was also a member of the campus Aztec Club.
In 1968, while Mary was in high school, she met and fell in love with a handsome man named Albert Avitia of San Diego, California. At the time, he was enlisted into the United States Armed Forces and was an Air Force Airman and he was away at Basic Training.
In 1969, Mary graduated from Mar Vista High School. In her senior year, she was nominated the Campus Queen aka the Cadet Corps Queen, which was an honor, and she looked like a beautiful Princess on that special day. (A picture from that special occasion is actually Mary's obituary photo.) This special occasion was also published in The Star News newspaper back on Thursday, February 27, 1969.
On November 8, 1969, Mary and Albert got married and had an elaborate traditional Mexican wedding with eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen. In the Mexican culture, each member of the wedding party contributes a certain item for the wedding. There was also a maid of honor and a best man as well as a flower girl and ring bearer. Again, Mary looked like a Princess on her wedding day! She looked so beautiful and so happy! They made their home in Winton, California as her husband was stationed at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, California.
Shortly after getting married, they received exciting news that they were going to have a baby! On September 11, 1970, she gave birth to her daughter Melissa Elaine. Shortly thereafter, Mary gave birth to her son Albert Eugene on November 19, 1971. Mary's children meant the world to her!
While pregnant, Mary worked in the hospitality industry. She worked at Tequila Cafe in Winton, California. She enjoyed serving people.
From 1977 to 1981, Mary lived in Germany at Ramstein Air Force Base, which is where her husband was stationed while serving in the military. While in Germany, she worked at the Officers Club in fine dining. During the four years her husband was stationed in Germany, Mary and her family got to do a lot of sightseeing in Europe. She enjoyed that! Mary made a lot of friends while living overseas and remained friends with several of them upon returning to the United States.
After leaving Germany in 1981, Mary's husband got re-stationed at Castle Air Force Base and her family moved back to Atwater, California. She continued to work in the hospitality industry and worked at the Officer's Club in fine dining at Castle Air Force Base.
Early in her marriage, Mary invested in real estate and eventually became a Property Manager, which was very fulfilling to Mary. She and her husband used to fix up their rental properties. She used to clean as well as paint the inside and outside of their rental properties with her husband's help. Her husband also did all the handyman repairs. They made a great team!
Mary's husband retired from the Air Force in 1988, but he then went to work for United Airlines in San Francisco, California that same year and he retired from United Airlines in 2004.
In approximately 1993, Mary became a Nanny and found fulfillment in doing so when she met sweet Gillian who was just a few months old. Mary traveled on the plane weekly from Phoenix, Arizona to San Francisco, California to serve as a Nanny. A few months after Mary's husband retired from United Airlines in 2004, Mary also retired, which brought her role as a Nanny to an end. It was a bittersweet moment. Mary was very proud of Gillian. Mary and her husband were honored to attend Gillian's wedding. She truly adored Gillian as well as her family – especially Gillian's Mom (Melinda) and Gillian's late Grandmother (Pat). They were so good to Mary. Mary loved them like family and they held a special place in Mary's heart.
Mary retired at the young age of 52 and had achieved so much in such a short amount of time. She was a very hard worker. Even though she came from a poor upbringing and did not go to college like she had hoped to after graduating from high school, she did not let that stop her from becoming successful. Everything she had was earned by her and she appreciated all that she had. She never asked anyone for financial help. As she got older, she definitely enjoyed the finer things in life. Mary was a beautiful person inside and out. She was also a very humble person and had a big heart. She was always thinking about everybody else and was very caring and giving. She was also a very wise business woman.
Mary was very proud of her children Melissa and Eugene for their academic achievements and accomplishments. Early on, she and her husband encouraged their children to excel in their education so they could have a brighter future. That advice definitely worked as both of her children did very well in school and in life. They both were in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program and were on the Honor Roll throughout their high school years. They even graduated with Honors from Atwater High School in Atwater, California. Her daughter also received two college scholarships. Both of her children furthered their education by going to college and obtained their college degrees. Her daughter is currently a Legal Administrative Assistant (LAA) at a reputable law firm named Barnes & Thornburg LLP located in downtown San Diego, California in a beautiful office overlooking the bay. Her late son was a math teacher and an assistant basketball coach at Globe High School in Globe, Arizona.
Mary was also very proud of all of her Grandchildren for doing well in school. Unfortunately, she did not have contact with her two oldest Granddaughters Timmea and Samantha, which was not by her choice. She very much wanted to have a relationship with them. She would be thrilled to know that Mary's husband ("Grandpa Albert") has formed a relationship with them since Mary's passing. He recently learned that both of his oldest Granddaughters Timmea and Samantha went to college and currently work at their family owned business called Flores Professional Services (Certified Public Accounting Services) in Winton, California. As for the third oldest Granddaughter Alaysia, Mary and her husband helped her with tuition while she went to college and were so very proud of her when she earned her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Alaysia is now pursuing her Master's Degree. Unfortunately, Mary passed away the year that her fourth oldest Granddaughter Kaitlyn graduated from high school, but her Papa Albert (Mary's husband aka Grandpa) was in attendance on this milestone occasion. Kaitlyn is currently a Freshman at the University of Arizona and is doing very well academically and continues earning straight A's. To honor her Grandma Mary's wishes, her Papa Albert (Grandpa) is helping Kaitlyn with her college tuition. That is what Grandma Mary would have wanted. In sum, Mary was very proud of her children and Grandchildren!
On September 9, 2008, Mary's daughter Melissa gave birth to a precious baby girl named Mia. Mary was thrilled! Mary graciously offered to travel from Phoenix, Arizona to San Diego, California to take care of her precious Granddaughter Mia so that Mary's daughter Melissa could return to work. Mary was a blessing to her daughter Melissa!
On April 14, 2015, Mary's daughter Melissa gave birth to a precious baby boy named Max. Mary was so thrilled that her daughter had a girl and a boy! Being a Grandma was Mary's calling and she was, indeed, the most wonderful Nana (aka Grandma) ever!
Mary was quite the perfectionist! She liked things a certain way. She enjoyed hosting family and friends and would take about a month or so to prepare her home for her company. For example, she would clean the elegant chandeliers she brought back from Germany by hand – one crystal prism at a time – and that was definitely time-consuming and a lot of work. Once she was done, the chandeliers looked so nice and were so sparkly. They even looked liked floating diamonds. She also would polish the silverware. She wanted everything to be perfect and she succeeded in doing so every time. Mary enjoyed doing this for her family and friends!
Mary was definitely one of a kind and had such cute ways about her. Her favorite saying was: "You need to save for a rainy day." She knew how to budget her money like no other, ha! She even taught her children at a young age how to save their money.
Mary was an incredible cook. She always made sure that everyone's tummies were nice and full and always made an abundance of food. She was quite the hostess!
Mary enjoyed eating chocolate! She had quite the sweet tooth - just like her daughter Melissa, ha!
Mary was an awesome seamstress and made clothes for her children until they reached middle school. She even had personalized clothing labels that said "Made especially by Mary Avitia," which she would sew onto the clothes that she made for her children. She was very talented. She learned how to sew from her Mom, who was also a great seamstress. Mary also sewed clothes for her siblings when she was growing up. How impressive!
Mary was by far the most frugal person you will ever meet, ha! She enjoyed going to yard sales on the weekends in Ahwatukee, Arizona with her daughter Melissa. She also enjoyed frequenting her local thrift store (the Goodwill Store in Ahwatukee, Arizona) and she found pleasure in twice treasured items. She sure lucked out in finding a lot of unique treasures over the years!
Another simple pleasure that Mary enjoyed doing was frequenting her local casinos (the Gila River Lone Butte and the Gila River Wild Horse Pass), which were very close to her home in Ahwatukee, Arizona. She enjoyed walking around the casino with her husband. She liked playing the penny slot machines. She actually was very lucky and won several jackpots. She also liked to share a delicious "fatburger and fries" with her husband while at the Gila River Wild Horse Pass casino. She said that was the best burger and fries!
Mary was definitely one of a kind. She had such a bubbly personality. She loved her family and friends so much. She was a people person and would talk to anyone that she came across. She was quite the social butterfly!
Mary was very special to her children – especially her daughter Melissa. They shared a strong bond and were like best friends. They talked everyday and is missed terribly by her daughter.
Mary lived a great life and said that she had done everything that she wanted to do in life! She was very blessed to be married to her wonderful and caring husband Albert for over 52 years and she was very blessed to have given birth to her beautiful children Melissa and Eugene, who were God's gifts to her and her husband.
Mary is preceded in death by her beloved son Albert Eugene (who tragically died while hiking on July 3, 2014 at Thunder Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona); her parents Celestino and Josefina Rendon; her brothers Armando and Oscar Rendon.
Mary is survived by her husband Albert Avitia of Ahwatukee (Phoenix), Arizona; her daughter Melissa Avitia (husband Joseph) Turpin of San Diego, California; her daughter-in-law Tamara Armstrong (widow of Albert Eugene) Avitia of El Mirage, Arizona; Granddaughter Timmea Avitia (husband Angelo) Aimbez of Fresno, California; Granddaughter Samantha Avitia (husband Christopher) Munoz of Winton, California; Granddaughter Alaysia Avitia (husband Daniel) Fajardo of Oro Valley, Arizona; Granddaughter Kaitlyn Sierra Avitia of Tucson, Arizona; Granddaughter Mia Danielle Turpin of San Diego, California; Grandson Benjamin Maxwell "Max" Turpin of San Diego, California; Great Grandsons Nicholas Munoz, Elijah Munoz and Mykah Munoz of Winton, California; Great Grandsons Jason Fajardo and Ruben Fajardo of Oro Valley, Arizona. Mary is also survived by her brothers Carlos Rendon, Robert Rendon, Hector Rendon, Edward Rendon, Sergio Rendon, Paquito Rendon and sisters Joanne Hughes, Sonia Domingo, Jacqueline Guinn and Yvette Rendon. Mary is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews.
Mary was a loving Wife, Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Nanny and Friend. She will be terribly missed by those who had the privilege of knowing her. She touched so many lives.
A private viewing was requested by her daughter Melissa, which was held on March 29, 2022 at the Samaritan Funeral Home in Phoenix, Arizona. At the request of Mary, she asked that no funeral be held. However, her daughter Melissa is planning to have a private Celebration of Life for her beloved Mom in Ahwatukee, Arizona, on March 26, 2023, which will be her beloved Mom's 1-year Heaven Anniversary.
Mary and her son Albert Eugene are now reunited in Heaven and are dancing with the Angels.
God put Mary on this Earth for a reason. She was very blessed. She lived a great life. She told her daughter that there was nothing else that she wanted to do before she left this Earth because she has done everything that she ever wanted to do in life. Being a Wife, Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma is what made Mary happy and those roles were very rewarding to her. She played those roles perfectly and deserves an award for being the best Wife, best Mom, best Grandma and best Great Grandma ever! Mary was born an Angel and she truly was fascinated by Angels and was surrounded by beautiful bronze statues of Angels in her lovely home when God's Angels called for her the morning of March 26, 2022. Mary leaves a great legacy! She will be forever in our hearts. Rest in peace, Mom! Miss you so very much! Until we meet again…❤️To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Avitia, please visit Tribute Store