On August 1, 1952, Maria de la Luz (Lucy) was born to Raymond and Primitiva (Nina) Florez. Lucy was the youngest girl in a sibling group of six. She was raised in Texas until the age of six when their family of eight relocated to California. She is preceded in death by her parents, sister Aurora, and brother Felix.
On November 10, 1974, she married Frank Perez. They went on to have three children Marcos, Madeline, and Sergio. She has three grandchildren, Lexie, Vincent, and Jackson.
On February 9, 2021, Lucy lost her battle with Covid. For any who knew Lucy, the words devout Catholic, loving, integrity, trustworthy, kind, thoughtful, selfless, silly, giving, caring, and educator are quick to come to mind. Other words that come to mind are grandmother extraordinaire, neighbor, friend, cheerleader, supporter and adventurer. Overall, Lucy was an influencer greater than any in present day.
Lucy was also driven. She pushed herself from being a stay at home mom, to a working mom, and then a college graduate in her late 30s. From there she became an elementary school teacher. She worked for Atwater Elementary School District for twenty years primarily teaching 1st and 2nd grades. Witnessing Lucy’s commitment and drive was impressionable on her children. All three followed in her footsteps with bachelor’s degrees, one postgraduate degree, and another postgraduate degree in progress.
Lucy was also a grandmother extraordinaire. To say that she played an essential role in the upbringing of her grandchildren is an understatement. She was focused and invested in their education. Lucy spoke of the importance of reading to her grandchildren and the dangers of screen time. She read to them often and purchased any books they desired. Her famous Christmas countdown continues to be a huge hit with her grandchildren. She was present at 730am Student of the Month awards, school performances, class presentations, sporting events, and plays. Aside from attending school plays, Lucy was a believer in the arts and the positive influence they had on children’s creativity and imagination. She attended countless performances with her grandchildren at Gallo, CSU Stan theater department, and Carnegie theater.
Lucy was also adventurous. Her sisters, Cruz and Simona, and cousins Velia and Sylvia, would confirm that. However, her first plane ride was in 2005 with her daughter, Madeline. Her first flight was to Boston, where they caught a game at Fenway. They then drove to Manhattan where they did everything New York, but most importantly saw Yankee Stadium. Lucy was full of energy and did all that could be done in the few days including an off broadway show (I love you, You’re perfect, Now change!), Lady Liberty, Time Square and attempting to get into Good Morning America at 4am. From there she traveled to MLB ballparks in Los Angeles (duh), Anaheim (Angels), Denver (Rockies) where she grabbed a Coors, Phoenix (Dbacks), Cincinnati (Reds), Cleveland (Indians), Philadelphia (Phillies), Baltimore (Orioles), Washington DC (Nationals), Houston (*Astros), and Arlington( Rangers). Oh no, it doesn’t stop! With her son Mark and daughter Madeline, they went to Miami (Marlins) and Tampa Bay (Rays). Lucy and Mark went to Atlanta (Braves). Lucy, Sergio and Frank took a road trip to Seattle (Mariners) to catch a game and tour that stadium. Frank, Lucy, Mark, and Sergio also went to San Diego to catch a Padres game. Aside from ballparks, Lucy enjoyed getaways to Ventura, Santa Barbara, trips to LA for dodger games, Disneyland, or visits with family, beach getaways in Capitola, Carmel, Monterey, and so much more.
Lastly and most importantly, Lucy was the best wife and companion to her husband of 46 years, Frank Perez. Her love, patience, thoughtfulness, and attention to him was present daily. Their casino excursions and day trips to Monterey and Carmel were essential. She always took and sent selfies to her kids and posted them online to share with her friends. Overall, Lucy was a beautiful woman and an example of what we all should strive to be.
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