Maria C. Lerma
Maria C. Lerma Oxnard, CA Maria C. Lerma, 95, of Oxnard, took the hand of the Lord and He led her Home on February 9, 2017, in Northridge, CA. Born September 14, 1921 in Garland, Utah; the second of eleven children born to Refugio Rios and Francisca Torres Rios. Mary spent most of her youth in Winnemucca, Nevada. Growing up in a large family during The Great Depression was not easy, but Mary's parents taught her and her siblings the value of hard work and fortitude. Mary educated herself and completed her primary schooling in Winnemucca just prior to America's entrance into World War Two. In 1942, Mary moved with her family to Ventura County. Here Mary met the man who was to become her husband of 42 years, Natividad "NT" Lerma; better known to his family as "Pivo." She worked for the Oxnard Elementary School District for 11 years, as an office clerk. She was a devoted member of her church and she even practiced several ministerial duties; quite an accomplishment for a woman at the time. She was a firm believer in pursuing higher learning and education. Thus, Mary encouraged her daughter Barbara to seek a career for herself. Barbara made her mother very proud; earning degrees in Biology and Nursing, and making a successful career as a Nurse Practitioner for 15 years. Mary is survived by her sisters: Inez Figueroa, of Ventura; Phyllis Erickson, of Washington; Julia Rodriguez (husband Fred Rodriguez), of Oxnard; her sister-in-law Joan Rios, of New Mexico; her brothers: John Rios, of Berkeley and Robert Rios, of Fairfield; and three nephews and six nieces. In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her husband Natividad Lerma, in 1991; son Steven, in 1953; daughter Barbara, in 2014; sisters: Viviana Rios in 1925; Jessie Natera, in 1951 and Kathryn (Annie) Rios, in 1963; and brothers: Porfirio (Pilo) Rios, in 2014 and Dan Rios, in 2013. The family would especially like to thank all her caregivers at the Bright Eyes Retirement Home, in Northridge, CA, for the excellent and attentive loving care they provided. Funeral services are under, the direction of Santa Clara Mortuary, 2370 N. "H" Street, Oxnard, CA 93036 at which all services will be held. Viewing/Visitation 5-6 PM and Rosary 6:30 PM Friday, February 24, 2017. Mass 11 AM and Crypt-side services 12 PM, Saturday, February 25, 2017. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her name to: Colon Cancer Alliance at www.ccalliance.org .
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