Isela Licano, a California resident since 1980, peacefully passed away on Sunday, March 9th. She is survived by her sister, Alma L. Martinez, and Alma's four sons: Arturo David, Luis Arnoldo, Alfredo Javier, and Ernesto Andres. She is also survived by her brother, Francisco licano Jr., and her sister, Rita Lozoya Licano. Her caretakers, Jesus, Patricia, and Dominga provided exceptional love and care., and we thank them. We also thank Dr. King, Alejandra, Five Star Home Health, Inc, Karen Martinez at South Bay Home Health Care, COR Health Medical Associates, and Torrance Memorial Hospital. Isela, better known to all as Mama Chela, also leaves behind her beloved nieces and nephews: Roy, Fay, Susanita, Lolis, Mario Jr., Jesus Armando, Blanquita, Laurita, Enrique, Ricardo, Saul, Ruben, Martha (Cashu), Alma (Manque), Rome, Sally, Nefi, Saray., and Gloria Flores. Mama Chela was the matriarch of almost 300, and only the knowledge that she now sees the Face of God brings comfort to those she left behind. Mama Chela was born in El Paso, Texas on November 4, 1928. Although her schooling was limited, she was a word genius, beating anybody on word games such as Scrabble. Mama Chela always used a pen to complete the numerous crossword puzzles she enjoyed. No one could beat her at checkers or Chinese checkers, not even graduates of prestigious universities! A Memorial Service will be held at St. James Church (415 Vincent St., Redondo Beach, CA 90277)) on March 24th at 2:00 pm. with a reception at the church hall following the Mass. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Barriers, 555 Esplanade # 419, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. For many years, Mama Chela helped prepare meals for Amigos. Mama Chela, we love you. You will always be in our hearts, and the Wind Beneath our Wings!

Published in El Paso Times from Mar. 22 to Mar. 30, 2014