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Margarita M. Fernandez

1937 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Fernandez, Margarita M.
Margarita M. Fernandez, (Chata) of Phoenix, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 26, 2016, at the age of 78. Margarita was a first generation Mexican-American. Life began at her grandmother's home with a midwife delivery in Phoenix, Arizona. She lived her entire life in South Phoenix and loved it. As a barrios kid, she excelled and flourished in school. Besides good grades, she was active in school activities, becoming President of the Girl's Athletic Association and a Girl's State attendee in high school. As a member of the first graduating class of South Mountain High School, she participated in the 50th class ceremonies in 2006. Margarita was the first in
the greater family to go beyond high school, thanks to a nursing school scholarship. She was a graduate of St. Joseph's School of Nursing and successfully worked 32 years as a Registered Nurse, first at Maricopa County Hospital pediatric unit, then office nurse for Drs. J. P. Lopez and G. Argoud in Phoenix. That was followed with 23 years at St. Luke's Hospital, achieving the Head Nurse position of her Medical/Surgical unit. Her last 15 years at St. Luke's was in the Behavioral Health Center where she became a certified Chemical Dependency Therapist until retirement in 1991. As a trailblazer for higher education in the family, she inspired two BS degrees, three BA, three MBA, one RN, and one MD. Margarita was preceded in death by her parents, Maggie and Pini Fernandez of Phoenix, AZ. Survivors include her children, Renee Reiche (Roger) of Auburn, WA; Carlos F. Careaga, (Shannon) of Chula Vista, CA; Cecilia Arvizu (Alfonso) of Phoenix; brother, Ernesto Fernandez (Jessie) of Bonita, CA; half sister, Mary Eliza Valle (Gilbert) of Phoenix; niece, Stephanie Fernandez of Chula Vista, CA; nephew, Adrian Fernandez (Mimi) of San Francisco, CA; and aunt, Adelina Monreal of Tucson, AZ. She was blessed with eight grandchildren: Osvaldo (Dena) and Jessica Cervantes (Jose Avila); Robert and Chandra Reiche; Bianca and Alonso Arvizu; Lila and Carlos H. Careaga. Ten great grandchildren include: Jhonen, Jiraiya and Penelope Avila; Osvaldo IV, Violet and Valentine Cervantes; Sephora, Ryan and Aurora Reiche; and Aricela Jimenez. She was happiest around the children, her unspoken legacy. Margarita was a supportive mother, loving Nana, compassionate nurse and a generous person. She will be forever in our hearts and deeply missed. Viewing at Greenwood Memory Lawn 8-9am preceding the mass in Margarita's honor on Friday, July 8, 2016, 10am at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Phoenix. Following the mass, internment will be in her family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery, Avondale, AZ. Margarita participated in Alzheimer research of Hispanics. Donations may be made for Alzheimer research at http://alzfdn.org/ in her memory.
Published in The Arizona Republic on July 6, 2016
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