February 10, 1920 ~ June 12, 2016
Marie Diaz – February 10, 1920 – June 12, 2016
It is with sad and heavy hearts that the Diaz Family announces the passing of our beloved and beautiful family matriarch, Marie Diaz. We are comforted in the knowledge that she passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord, and is now with her beloved husband, Joe.
Born Marie Negrete, youngest daughter of 15 children of Victor and Maria Negrete in Gardena, CA where she grew up and attended school. Working in her sister's restaurant in Wilmington, CA she met the love of her life, Joe Diaz. Affectionately referred to as Maria Bonita by her husband, they married on October 3, 1942 and had two daughters, Rosalie and Martha, settling in their first home in Gardena, CA.
In 1953 they moved to Hermosa Beach, settling down to raise their family. Marie worked at the Broadway in Westchester, while her husband Joe worked at Hughes Aircraft. Eventually, she left work and became a full-time housewife raising their young daughters.
Marie had the greatest love of family and her faith; and, over the course of her lifetime, her brothers and sisters were her best friends. Coming from such a large family it was common to spend time at their respective homes filled with laughter, celebrating and creating wonderful memories.
Marie, Joe and their grandchildren, Monica and John often traveled to their vacation spot in Rosarito Beach for many years. She had a wonderful ability to make any place she was at feel like home; whether it was in a house, hotel or even a travel trailer, she could always make a meal out of anything handy, and make it look like it took hours to prepare. Dressed to the nines and always perfectly accessorized, she was the consummate hostess.
Making Hermosa Beach their home, the Diaz' made many contributions throughout their lifetime. Co-founder of the Hermosa Beach/Loreto Sister City Student Exchange Program, along with her husband Joe, she traveled on every trip to Loreto; hosted dignitaries in her home; attended the Sister City events and raised funds every year for the organization, as well as others. Marie loved to travel and they trekked to many parts of the world, loved cruises with friends, and going on a road trip just on a whim.
Marie was also a member of the Hermosa Beach Women's Club, assisted at the Hermosa Beach Farmer's Market and was Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year in 1992, and Volunteer of the Year in 2003. In addition, she worked side-by-side with her husband Joe for all of the Hermosa Beach Kiwanis events and fundraisers, as he was an active member.
Beloved Mother, Grandmother and a Great Grandmother to Leina, Sabrina and John John, as well as a respected member of the community, she was cherished by all of her friends in Hermosa Beach and Loreto. She was cared for at the end of her years by both of her daughters, as well as loving, in-home caregivers. Marie is a true Hermosa Beach icon, and a reminder of the few residents of her era that are still part of the Hermosa Beach Community. Her guardian angels, the Hermosa Beach Fire Department, embraced her and cared for her as if she was their own mother; and, proudly display a picture of them together in the station with the fire truck in Loreto.
She is survived by her daughters, Rosalie (Bruce) Schjeldahl and Martha Diaz; Grandchildren Monica (Rick) Frey and John Nelson; and, three Great Grandchildren, Leina, Sabrina and John John, Jr. Nelson.
Closed casket viewing and family gathering will be held Monday, June 20th from 5-9:00 p.m. at Rice Mortuary 5310 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA; and, Memorial Services will be held on Tuesday, June 21st at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hermosa Beach, CA. Interment will be at Pacific Crest Cemetery in Redondo Beach with a reception following.
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