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PILAR ORRAJ MCNEECE
Jan 22, 1930 - Apr. 16, 2012
Our beloved mother and grandmother, Pilar McNeece of El Centro, passed away suddenly on Monday, April 16 with all three of her children at her side. She had battled cancer for over 20 years. She was 82.
Pilar was born on January 22, 1930 in El Centro to Frank and Remedios Orraj. She attended Heber School and graduated from Central Union High School class of l948. She also attended Imperial Junior College. She was very proud of her first job at the Imperial Irrigation District.
Pilar traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi to visit her brother Frank who was stationed there in the U.S. Air Force. Her brother introduced her to a young man from the Imperial Valley, Paul McNeece. They fell in love and were married Sept. 19, 1953. When his service ended they made their home in El Centro, where he went into business and they raised their family.
Pilar's life was dedicated to her family and children and in the later years her grandchildren. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed entertaining friends and traveling. Every fall for 25 years she and Paul would travel to South Bend, IN to cheer their beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. Her children and grandchildren developed a love for Notre Dame through these family trips. Pilar built and maintained many circles of close friends over her lifetime many of which she stayed active with until the end of her life.
Pilar was predeceased by her husband Paul, who passed away in 2006. She is survived by her son Mike of El Centro, daughter and son-in-law Sheila and John Grant of Carlsbad, and daughter Kelly of La Jolla. In addition she leaves behind four grandchildren that she was so very proud of: Thomas and Alyssa Grant of Carlsbad and Lindsey and Patrick McNeece of El Centro. She is also survived by brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bob and Betty Jo McNeece of El Centro, sisters-in-law Lois McNeece of Bakersfield and Liz Orraj of Yuma, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Pilar will be deeply missed by her longtime friend and helper Mele Singh and her beloved dog Annie.
Services are scheduled for Friday, April 27th at 10 a.m. at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, 795 S. La Brucherie Rd, El Centro.
The family suggests donations on her behalf be made to the Saint Mary's Capital Campaign.
Published in Imperial Valley Press Online from April 22 to April 26, 2012