Mary Louise Gamboa was born on June 21, 1924, and left this earth to spend eternity in Heaven on May 20, 2016, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on Rural Route 1 in Strathmore, California, to Juan and Atanacia Gonzalez. She, along with older sister, Consuelo (Connie), older brothers, Pilar (Pete), Esau (Isaac), and younger brother, Johnny, would do chores on the ranch both before and after school. From picking cotton, milking cows, and tending to livestock, together they learned firsthand what rewards hard work and dedication would bring. She drove a bus for the local grade school, and with her assistance, in 1949 the Porterville Chapter of Catholic Daughters of America was founded. In 1947 she gave birth to her only child, Linda Louise. Mary lived in Los Angeles shortly to pursue her educational career in office management before accepting a job in Bakersfield, where she would begin a 40-plus year career working in many local doctors' medical offices. Mary was also a proud member of the Bakersfield Police Department Reserve from 1965 until 1977, where she would work various community events and even went on patrol. She was an active member of American Business Women's Association Echo de Valle and was Woman of the Year in 1985. Even though she lived in Bakersfield, she would spend as much time as possible at the family ranch in Porterville with her siblings. She was an avid Dodger fan and would even say, "I was a fan when they were in Brooklyn!" Her passions were her faith, her family, and animals, and to cook (especially teaching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to cook). She loved cooking tamales in the winter and menudo on New Year's Day, and the whole family always greatly anticipated each meal. To this day, all the menudo we taste is compared to her family recipe! Mary was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Pete Gonzalez and Isaac Gonzalez; and sister, Connie Gonzalez. She is survived by her brother, Johnny Gonzalez and wife, Rosie Gonzalez; sister-in-law, Florence Gonzalez; daughter, Linda Walker; grandchildren, Richard and Rachel Curtis, Michael and Wendy Curtis, John and Lesa Curtis; great-grandchildren, Jennifer, Laura, Kayla, Kelsey, Kristeen (Brandon), Kennedy, Cassidy, and Katie Louise; great-great-grandchildren, Miriah, Kaydance, Ava, Karson, Elijah; and many cousins spread across the United States and Mexico. Sincere thanks to Optimal Hospice for taking care of Mary over the years; and a special thanks to Juanita, Angela, and Robert for their commitment to her care.
Viewing will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Rosary will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 6th, at Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7th, at St. Anne's Catholic Church, 378 N. F Street, Porterville, CA 93257. Interment will follow the church services, at St. Anne's Catholic Cemetery, West Gibbons Ave., Porterville, CA 93257. For condolences please visit: www.greenlawnm-c.com
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