The Parra History


Rafael Parra
The name Parra is derived from La Parra, Spain which is located southwest of Madrid and near the border of Portugal.   In the times of the Roman empire a person who was from this city was said to be "De La Parra."   Hence the name has been shortened and anglicized as Parra.

We begin with Isabel (Ramirez) Parra (b.07-08-1890), who was the daughter of Valentin Ramirez.   A marriage certificate we located shows Isabel Ramirez married Rafael Parra (b.10-18-1884) on Friday November 4, 1904 when he was 20 years old and Isabel was 14 years old.   The place of their marriage was La Piedad, Michoacan, Mexico.   It was related to us from their youngest daughter, Lina "Helen" Becerra, that her father rode in on horseback and literally kidnapped the young 14 year old Isabel and made off with her.   It was not unusual for a man to take his chosen bride in this manner.   Their marriage was sanctioned and they were married in a church.   Parra marriage certificate dated 1904.

How the families worked this out is unknown and it's quite possible that in these years and remote villages this was a way to win your bride, by kidnapping them and it was acceptable.   In the late 1800's, in Mexico, the girls or women were considered servitude and nothing more.   They were only to have children, create a family and keep a house.   Women did not have a say or a place, but were expected to be respectful and obedient to men and when they were married they were expected to obey the man of the house.

The Parra's had two children while living in Mexico, then later in the United States they had three more children.   Their first child, Antonia Parra, was born on a Tuesday morning on January 19, 1909 when Isabel was 19 years old.   Her birth name was given as Maria Jesus Parra by her parents.   Her name Antonia, as she would be known for her lifetime, came from her Godmother's wishes to have Maria Jesus baptized as Antonia, after Isabel's grandmother, Antonia Hernandes, when she was just a few months old.   The reasoning for this request is not clear, but relatives have said that the Godmother requested the name and it was granted to her.   The second child Rafael Parra Jr. was born on July 18 1911, both were born in La Piedad, Mexico.   Her three children born in the United States were Lina "Helen" Parra born on Sept 23, 1924, Josefina Rachel Parra born on April 18, 1926 and Enrique "Henry" Parra born on July 9, 1928.

Antonia always believed that she was born on January 18, 1909.   When it was necessary for her to show proof of birth for legal papers in the United States, she could not locate her birth records.   It was in the 1950's, after asking her mother about this, her mother told her it was because her real name was not Antonia, but Maria Jesus Parra.   After locating her birth records her birthdate proved to be January 19, 1909 and her true birth name.   This must have been quite a surprise to her, finding out her true name, after using Antonia all her life.   Antonia's birth certificate dated 1909.

In 1912, Pancho Villa was in the midst of his revolution and the country was in a turmoil.   Mexico had been involved in a revolution and living in Mexico was by all means very difficult.   Rafael Parra Sr. was 28 years old, a barber by trade, he set out for the United States in search of work and a better way of life for his family.  Antonia was just a little over three years old, her brother, Rafael was about 1 year old and their mother, Isabel (Ramirez)Parra, was a young 21 years old when they were left behind to live with the relatives of Isabel (Ramirez) Parra.

Before leaving for the United States, Rafael told his family that he would send for them when he was settled in America.   Isabel Ramirez and her children were left to live with the childrens Aunts and Uncles.   Three year old Antonia was never formally educated and instead helped around the house and in caring for her little brother.   It was during this time in her life that Antonia remembers that at age 4 and for the next ten years her Aunts and Uncles would torment her and tell her that her father would never see her again.   Though the torment was not intentional they would remind her that their father had abandoned them and she might as well give up thinking that he was coming back to them.   Antonia felt that she was not loved and was despondant and continually depressed with the loss of their father.   Ten years would pass before she saw her father again and it was a very long time for such a young girl.   The feelings of loosing her father and the enduring reminder by her Aunts and Uncles that he was not coming back.

Rafael Parra came into the United States, crossing the International Bridge from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas.   His path to California is vague and his work is not recorded.   He would inevitably work his way towards California and settle in Oceanside, a northern suburb of San Diego County.   We have not been able to trace Rafael's movements or work experience.   We do know that he was a barber by trade in Mexico.   We also know that in the United States he worked in the ranches and farm fields picking crops, and following the work wherever it would take him.   He found work in Azusa at the Schloss Citrus Ranch, just east of Los Angeles.   When the work slowed down in Azusa he found work in the fields of Indio, east of Riverside, California.

While in California and working at the Schloss Citrus Ranch, we have to theorize that sometime between 1914 and 1917, Rafael Parra met and made friends with Victor S. Yñiguez (See History Of The Yñiguez Family) who would become his best friend.   That friendship would eventually breakup when Victor would meet Rafael's young daughter, Antonia Parra and wanted to court her.

Rafael had been working in the farm fields, saving his money and establishing a financial foothold in the United States.   A woman, who was Rafael's friend and companion helped him financially to buy some property, a house, in Oceanside, California.   The woman who had been romantically involved with Rafael believed that the house would someday be their home when she married Rafael.   How all this came about is not clear and the relatives cannot recall how the two met or what happened to the woman.  

Rafael told the woman that he had a sister in Mexico who was "widowed" and had two children.   He might have told her that the money he was sending was to help her out.   The woman was unwittingly helping Rafael with his "widowed" sister.  Little did she realize at that time that the house Rafael wanted to buy was for his family back in Mexico.   Eventually it was his wife, Isabel (Ramirez) Parra who Rafael brought to live in his home along with his women friend.   When the woman became aware that Rafael had no intentions to marry her and it was his family from Mexico that he had brought to their house, she swore her condemnation, telling him his life was cursed from this moment on.   Rafael was a believer in the superstition and may well have believed his life was indeed cursed.

Before Rafael brought his family from Mexico, he may have repaid the woman or she may have allowed him to live with her while he sent money back to Mexico, to his "widowed" sister and saved his own earnings towards the house purchase.

In 1923, Rafael began to make preparations to bring his family from La Piedad, Mexico into the America.   By now Antonia was fourteen years and nine months old.   Her father had prospered through hard work and established his modest home in Oceanside and he was now ready to bring his family to the United States to be with him.   True to his word he wrote his family inviting them to come to the United States to their new home.   The excitement that must have been felt by Antonia could possibly not be put into words.   At long last she was going to see her father and go to the United States to live with her father.   Isabel (Ramirez) Parra enlisted the help of her oldest brother, Luis Ramirez, who helped her with the journey to get to the United States border with her two children.

The (Ramirez) Parra family traveled by train, The National Railway of Mexico, arriving in Juarez, Mexico.   On Tuesday October 30, 1923, they crossed the international border into El Paso, Texas where Rafael was finally able to meet up with his family.   Victor Yñiguez was waiting in El Paso with an automobile.   Antonia would soon meet her future husband, Victor Yñiguez for the first time.



Photo of Isabel (Ramirez) Parra with Antonia Parra
and Rafael Parra Jr. on their arrival in the United States in 1923

The Long Journey

To travel to the United States by train in 1923 you would first have to wonder how they travelled from such a small desolate village to the nearest main town in Gueretaro, Mexico where the train depot was located 180 miles away.   Travelling from the village would have to be by foot, oxcart or horse and buggy.   Certainly there were no buses or automobiles to speak of.   The revolution would have destroyed most of the transportation or have been confiscated by the military or their adversaies.   Automobiles were a new method of modern transportation not readily available in such a ravished war torn country.   The military still fought on horseback.   The Ramirez' did own a ranch, a house, land and were considered people of wealth and politically connected.   So it was conceivable that they had some method of transportation.

From La Piedad they would travel east about 50 miles to the village of Irapuate then travelling further east 80 miles to the town of Gueretaro.   This would have taken them a full day if not two days of travelling.   They could have stayed the night in each of these villages or stops.   In Gueretaro they took the train North 130 miles to the town of San Luis Potosi then continued North to the city of Monterey which is 230 miles from Gueretato.   The trip would then continue Northwest to the town of Torreon about 160 miles away.   The travel would then continue north 290 miles to Chihuahua and then continue north another 220 miles to Ciudad Juarez and to the United States border at El Paso, Texas.   One has to visualize the journey as taking days, weeks and making many stops along the way.   You must also understand that traveling conditions were not the most comfortable in 1923 and a turbulent civil war had just come to a close in the chapter of Mexico's social reform.   The countryside was still in disarray.   The railroads of 1923 did not have the comforts of air-conditioning, restrooms, dining cars and the speed of travel by today's standards.

It makes you wonder why someone would leave their country, their families, not knowing what lies ahead in a foreign country and then to endure the long journey to a land with a language they did not know.   And the thought, and maybe, just maybe they would never see their parents or relatives again.

Arriving at Juarez on the Mexico side of the U.S. Border the Parra's crossed the International Bridge into El Paso, Texas on October 30, 1923.   To comprehend the long journey you only have to add the miles to see the long journey that was traveled to reach the United States that so many wanted to reach but so few could make the journey.

Victor Yniguez meets Antonia Parra

On the Unted States side was Rafael's best friend, Victor S. Yniguez, who was there to help with the final leg of the families trip to California.   Antonia Parra, now 14 years old and Rafael Jr. was 11 years old, they had arrived in the United States.   Victor was waiting in El Paso with an automobile.   Both Victor and Rafael owned automobiles and it is unclear which automobile was used for the travels, but it was believed it was Victor's automobile and he was the driver.   Victor who had immigrated earlier had not completed filing his papers with the Immigration Bureau and so he hesitated in nearing the border crossing and waited with the automobile in El Paso.

Rafael Parra introduced his wife, Isabel, to the 38 year old Victor Yniguez and to his two children, Antonia and Rafael Jr.   The family traveled together by automobile, another 723 miles west, to the City of Oceanside , California .   Victor would visit with his friend regularly and stay in touch with his family.   Seeing Antonia daily in his visits with Rafael, Victor eventually found himself attracted to the very young Antonia and probably the only girl around his life, at that time, as a field worker.   Victor developed a great deal of interest in Antonia, seeing her daily and because of his friendship with her father.   Rafael, realizing Victor's interest, tried to discourage him in vain because of the age difference and their friendship as men.   Antonia was infatuated with the attention she was receiving from an older man and probably, while not intentionally, encouraged him along.   This would eventually cause the breakup of their friendship as Rafael tried to discourage his daughter and his best friend.

Five years earlier, Victor Yniguez was once married to Benita Bonilla, on July 21, 1916.   This marriage lasted until December 23, 1918 when they divorced and it was recorded on April 7, 1921 in the City of Azusa, California.   It was said that they had one child who they, coincidentally had named Antonia and died in 1918 or 1919 of an unknown illness at an early 2 years of age.   Victor continued to visit Benita until her death around 1922.   Both Benita and the child Antonia are said to be buried at Calvary Cemetary in East Los Angeles.   This information was handed down by Eulalio Alvarado, a cousin to Victor who was raised as his brother since infancy.   We have not been able to confirm any of this information.   Death records do not show any existence of Benita (Bonilla) Yniguez or a child Antonia Yniguez during a 1993 search of records.   However a photo of Benita and a child is in existence in the possession of Eulalio Alvarado.

Rafael and Isabel (Ramirez) Parra were now reunited since their 12 year separation.   Eleven months later a third child was born to them, Lina (Parra) Becerra born in Azusa, California on September 23, 1924.   In early 1925 the family moved to Hanford, California to follow the work in the fields.   Hanford is located 33 miles south of Fresno between Interstate Highways 5 and Highway 99.
Photo of Antonia and Lina - Hanford, California June 1925

Whether Victor Yniguez worked these fields is doubtful, since he was working in Los Angeles during these years.   Eventually Rafael and Isabel Parra returned to the Los Angeles and Oceanside areas during the slow times and the winter months.   Following the field work where ever it took him, Rafael went to Indio California near Palm Springs in the spring of 1926.   While in Indio their fourth child was born, Josephine (Parra) Gomez born in Indio, California on April 18, 1926.   Josephine died on June 1983 in Venice, California.

Rafael worked the fields of Indio in 1927 and went home in the winter of 1927.   In the Spring of 1928 Rafael returned to work in Indio.   Isabel was 6 months expecting her fifth child when Rafael Parra died in April 1928 while working the Indio fields.   After a Riverside County paid funeral Isabel returned to their home in Oceanside.   Enrique (Henry) Parra would be born shortly after his fathers death, born in Oceanside on July 9, 1928.   Henry never got the opportunity to meet his father.   Henry was born 2 months and 18 days after his fathers death.   Henry Parra is the name used for social security purposes and the official California death record.   Henry died on August 28, 1996 after a long bout with cancer.


Henry Parra

Rafael and Isabel Parra maintained their residency living in Oceanside during the winter months of 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927.   When Spring arrived Rafael went to work in fields around California.   Their three children born in the United States were born in the Summer following their winter stays in Oceanside.   Lina (in Azusa, September 1924), Josephina (April, Indio 1926) Henry (in Oceanside, July 1928.)

Rafael was working in Riverside County of California in the farm fields of Indio when he became ill and died on Saturday April 21, 1928.   His death certificate listed the cause of death as "Paralytic Ileus."   The medical term paralytic means "paralyzed" and Ileus refers to the lower intestine ceasing to function.   He was buried at Olivewood cemetary in Riverside on Monday April 23, 1928.   Isabel (Ramirez) Parra never married again.

As the years progressed, and prior to her fathers death, Antonia would develop a discontent for her father as she learned of his escapades with this other women, his womanizing and that he was living with her while he considered his real wife his "widowed" sister.   There may have been other reasons that we clearly do not know why, or understand, but to the day of her death Antonia did not forgive her father.   This may be the reason why she married Victor, possibly as a way to go against her fathers wishes now that she was free to do as she pleased.   It is not clear how Antonia kept in touch with Victor while she may have traveled with her father to Hanford and Indio.   Photographs taken in 1925 in Hanford California could have been on a visit to her father.   Also, the fourth child Josephine was born in Indio and the family could have lived there temporarily while still maintaining ownership of a residence in Oceanside.

Victor had been wanting to court and may have been courting Antonia against the objections of her father.   This caused a heavy strain in the relationship of their friendship which began to dissolve and continued until the untimely death of Rafael Parra.

Victor had the good prospects of making a home life, and maybe, just maybe Antonia had not met anyone else that she knew well enough to want to marry.   In early 1920's life was remote, there was little prospect of meeting people and women wanted to marry to start their own home and have children.   This was a well known fact of life in the early century.

Six months later, after the death of Rafael Parra, and without being able to contest their marriage, Victor took this opportunity to marry Antonia on Friday October 19, 1928 in Oceanside, California.   Antonia Parra was 19 years and 9 months old and Victor was 42 years and 7 months old.   They had known each other for five years.   Ironic?   They married on her fathers 44th birthday.

After their marriage they moved to Los Angeles to be closer to the relatives of Victor Yniguez and to his work.   Before her marriage, at age 16, Antonia had been learning to drive her fathers convertible, a Willy's Knight 4 door Touring Car.   Her father had been giving her driving instructions.   However, after her fathers death and she married, Victor would not let her continue with her driving and her driving skills diminished.   Victor was the dominating force of the family and dominated his wife. The less she knew the more she depended on him and the more he dominated her.   Antonia was an uneducated woman in the sense she never went to formal school.   But, she had the common sense and developed her own education through life itself and her experiences of a person and a mother.   Antonia's education was life itself and with it she became a well versed and intelligent woman. The photo is of Rafael Parra and 1 year old Lina Parra.

After the death of her husband, Isabel (Ramirez) Parra continued to live in their home in Oceanside where her last child was born.   Enrique (Henry) Parra was born two months after his fathers death.   Isabel raised her children alone.   Occasionally they would pack a suitcase and visit Antonia and her husband in Los Angeles, who now had one child of their own, Delphina, born Novemember 2, 1929.   Isabel would visit them and stay weeks at a time.

In December 1929 the San Fernando Valley was a sprawling valley of citrus groves and farm fields and there was very little population.   Victor found work in the valley in a citrus field and moved his wife and daughter to 15 Pico Court in the City of San Fernando, north of Los Angeles.   Antonia's second child was born here.   A boy they named Julio was born on June 6, 1931 and named after the grandfather he would never meet.

It was after the birth of Julio that Antonia became disillusioned with her husband and was encountering martial difficulties.   Family recollections indicated that Victor stayed out late and visited his friends, ignoring his place as a father with a family.   The evenings were used as the time to visit friends since there was no other forms of entertainment.   There was no television, no movies, no Malls to shop, no telephones.   Visiting and socializing was the only form of entertainment, and this did not set well with Antonia who had two children at home and wanted the company and help of her husband.   Victor who lived his life alone for the past 40 years never had to answer to anyone before and his lifestyle was hard to change and he liked to socialize.   He may have taken his marriage for granted and this caused problems in their marriage.

Victor enjoyed his nights and weekends out after a long hard days work, and he enjoyed card playing with his friends.   He would stay out often gambling, playing cards, losing money and more often than not, making money gambling.   Antonia made a decision that she did not like his nights out and away from her and did not want to be married any longer.   This was not what she was looking for in a marriage.

Antonia made her decision to leave her home and separate from Victor and returned to her mother's home in Oceanside.   Her mother, who was fond of Victor and saw him as a good respectable, honest and conscientious person, told her bluntly "you got married for life and home is with him, you have to go back."   Antonia hesitantly returned to her home to prevail and make her marriage with Victor work.   After all, she considered, she had two children and was expecting her third child which she had not as of yet told her husband.

The family moved to 1848 - 17th Street Santa Monica, California in 1932, a short distance of 28 1/2 miles to the south and closer to the bay area beach.   It seemed much further away because the roads were dirt and not paved, decent streets or highways did not exists.   There were no freeways.   And, the transportation with automobiles that were not mechanically in good condition made the trip seem longer.   The interstate freeways in California and mass transportation system would be built 30 years later.

Antonia told her husband that she was expecting her third child.   Victor denied the child was his and blamed Antonia, accusing her that it must have occurred while she was seperated from him.   Ironic as it came to be, the third child born on July 30, 1933 bore the strongest resemblance to Victor and was named Victor, after his father.   Victor had to swallow his pride and take back his accusations.   Victor's trust and faith in Antonia grew stronger with time and the older he grew.

About 1939, Isabel Parra, who was now 49 years old, would eventually lose her home in Oceanside to the government.   Not aware of property tax laws,or having legal representation, the home was lost to back taxes owed on the home and Isabel Parra was forced to vacate their home.

Isabel Parra moved to Santa Monica in 1939 with her three youngest children.   They moved into one of the apartments Victor had purchased at 1848-17th Street in Santa Monica.   Rafael Parra Jr.(b. July 18,1911 - d. October 1956), her oldest son had been living with her. Rafael met Ernestina (Cerda) and they married and opted to remain in Oceanside.   Rafael and Ernestina began their family and they eventaully had five children.   All born in Oceanside was Ralph Parra, Joe Parra, Christine (Parra) Escobedo, Alicia (Parra) Kendall and Guadalupe "Lupita" (Parra) Kendall.   Ralph and Joe continued to live in Oceanside while Christina and Alice moved to Venice in 1956 to live with their Aunt Antonia (Parra) Yniguez.   Eventually at the death of their parents, Lupita moved to Venice.   Christine Escobedo died in 1991, at 50 years of age, and is buried in Holy Cross cemetary in Culver City, Los Angeles County.   Alice and Lupita married brothers.   Alice to Wilbur Kendall and Lupita to David Kendall.   The Kendalls moved to the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles County.

Victor and Antonia owned several properties in Santa Monica as 1848, 1838 and 1828 - 17th Street.   They moved to the 1828th Street address where the remainder of Antonia and Victor's children would be born.   Torivia on April 16, 1935; Isabel on May 20, 1937; Senaida on June 28, 1938; Salvador on February 27, 1940; Lenardo on July 20, 1941; Eloisa on October 19, 1942; Eliseo on August 25, 1945; and Ricardo on March 24, 1947.

The family struggled trying to make ends meet.   Always the struggle for money and food.   Then during World War II (1941-1945) the government began rationing food and other items. Ration stamps were issued by the government in the name of each person and child in every household.   The ration stamps were institued in the spring of 1942 and required to make purchases.   This became part of the World War II home front effort.   Each member of the family was issued ration books, and it was the challenge of the homemaker to pool the stamps together and plan the family's meals within the set limits.   Sugar, butter, coffee, and beef-steak were especially scarce and valued items.   Home canning and the "victory garden" were added to the homemaker's concerns.   Ration stamps became a type of currency, and lost ration books became a major headache.   There were no such things as supermarkets in the 1940's.   You would have gone to different shops for different items.   For items on your shopping list you may have to go to a grocer's, a green grocer's and a butcher shop.   Food was scarce because it was used to produce C-rations for the military and other foods normally sent to the United States from foreign countries was sunk on the ships by the enemy or captured.   Everyone had a number of 'coupons' that they could use each week, and these were never enough to buy clothes for a whole family.   If possible nothing was thrown away or wasted, and old jumpers were unwound for their wool so that it could be used again.   If you could afford to buy a weekly ration of chocolate, each person was only allowed about 90 grams!   If you wanted to buy a bar of chocolate that weighed more than that you'd have had to save up your ration coupons.

Anything, tangible or consumable, you had to stand in line to buy and required ration coupons. With birth certificates in hand, Antonia had to apply to the Office of Price Administration, the issuing entity and register for the right to obtain the family coupons.   Coupons good for coffee, sugar, meat, butter, other food products, clothing, gasoline and household needs.   Stamps were traded with friends - or anyone - for something more desireable or needed.   This forced Antonia to stand in long lines to receive her ration stamps for each child.   This would be the only time Antonia would receive aid from the government.  Antonia believed in work to get what you earned and did not look for handouts.   A proud woman, she did not want to depend on government aid and would prefer to hard work than to recieve handouts.

1949 - 1987

In 1949, the family moved to 2318 Clement Ave in Venice, California (what is known today as Marina Del Rey.)   This was a much needed move and a tremendous relieve from the small one bedroom home on 17th Street.   The new home was a two story duplex house which Victor converted to a five bedroom, two story, single residence home.   The door leading to the upstairs duplex from the outside was sealed off and a new door was opened off the downstairs living room.   With remodeling and a few construction changes, the upstairs one bedroom duplex was changed into all bedrooms.   Kitchens, living rooms, family rooms and dining rooms all became bedrooms.

Their first child Delphine, was now 20 years old and a graduate from Santa Monica High School.   Delphine lived on Clement only a very short time before she got married.   The following year Julio, the oldest son, now turned 18 years old, joined the Marine reserves.   With the outbreak of the Korean conflict and a United States police Action, Julio went to war.

The Korean conflict, as it was called (Korean War 1950-1953) had escalated.   A U.S. dominated United Nations coalition came to the aid of South Korea in responding to an invasion by communist North Korea.   It brought the United States into a military confrontation with communists North Korea.   After serving in Korean and confronting the enemy forces on the battlefield, Julio was wounded in action.   For this he received the purple heart and Julio was sent home safely.

Antonia was not permitted by her husband to work outside the home.   To help with expense, Antonia took in babysitting for relatives, ironing for neighbors and sometimes selling homemade tortillas.   Antonia worked very hard to help financially.   She was a strict disciplinarian, raising eleven children, teaching them faith in religion and developing a strong self esteem in each child.

By 1961, Antonia was 52 years old and Victor was 75 years old.   Seven (7) of their eleven (11) children by now were married and had a home and family of their own.   They decided they no longer needed a large home and moved from their two story, five bedroom home to a smaller two bedroom one bath home.   The new home was near a main Boulevard and a shopping center, making it easier for Antonia to shop.   The two story house was kept in the family and rented out.   I often joked that they moved while I was in Europe on my tour of duty, trying to hide from me.   But, I found them when I returned home a year later when I was honorably discharged from military service.

By the end of the 1960's all the children were now married and on their own.  Everyone remained livng in the same geographical area of Los Angeles County.

The home Antonia and Victor Yniguez had moved to was at 915 Broadway Venice, California.   The house does not exist there today, instead an apartment complex sits on the site.   Victor, at age 77, continued with his work, but his work was limited due to his age.   It became difficult to drive his truck and he was tested every six months by the Department of Motor Vehicles licensing bureau.   He always managed to pass the driving test and continued to drive his 1955 Chevrolet panel truck, three speed column shift which required coordination with his hands and feet while shifting and giving acceleration.   Victor continued to drive and work until age 85 years old.

After a serious fall and head injury, which required emergency surgery, Victor's fall contributed to his failing health.   Victor died on August 26, 1977, when he was 91 years, 5 months and 20 days old.   After the death of her husband of 49 years and all her children gone, life became almost solitude.   Antonia became a lonely woman and her health began to deteriorate rapidly.

Not wanting to live with any of her children for fear of imposing on the life of her children and in-laws, Antonia lived alone.   When her children offered to move her in with them and to care for her she would say that she did not want to be known as a mother-in-law who became a pest in her last years.   She respected the private lives of her children and their homes.

For the next ten years Antonia would endure her lonely life, living alone and being cared for by her children living closest to her.   The youngest son, Richard was living nearby and would care for his mother.   Her daughter Isabel, had quit her job earlier and lived nearby.   So many times they would take her for a drive, to visit relatives, and get her out of the house.   But this was only a temporary relief and she always came back to the lonely house she once shared with her husband.

Antonia could not bear the loneliness any longer.   Her daughter Isabel was caring for Antonia on Tuesday, February 3, 1987 and comforted her in her arms.   Antonia, looked up at Isabel, into her eyes, then coughed deeply and closed her eyes.   Antonia died peacefully at age 78 years 1 month and 12 days.

While holding her mother, at the instant of her death, Isabel heard someone enter the house through the front door and heard footsteps walking across the front living room floor towards them.   She knew the screen door was locked from inside and wondered who had let themselves in.   Isabel went to investigate and tell whoever had come in that her mother had just this moment died.

Isabel and the live-in housekeeper both went to the front living room and saw that the screen door was still locked and no one was there.   Isabel remembered something that her father, Victor, always teased Antonia about.   He would tell her "I won't lose you, when I die, I will come for you when you die."

Antonia Yniguez was buried next to her husband at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California on February 6, 1987.


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