Jan. 13, 1953 - July 15, 2013
In 60 years, there was not a room that Maria Elisa Placencia did not bring light into when she entered it. On July 15th, after a long and courageous battle with cancer, her body's light was snuffed out, but her spiritual light, and the light of so many great memories she leaves with us, still shines bright.
She was a mother, nurse, teacher all at once. She lead by example - When she worked, we worked; when she played, we played; when she spoke, we learned. She could converse with joy, out-argue heartache, redefine challenge, awaken purpose. With these talents, she gave 35 years of public service to the community working for Hemet Unified School District, Head Start, United Cerebral Palsy, The Governor's Board of Diversity in Education, and the DMV. She had compassion for the broken and spoke for the silent. With love, she mapped routes out of the impossible, the ignorant, the small. When you were around her, you knew tomorrow would always be better. She was a trailblazer, literally as she loved the outdoors and camping, figuratively through her progressive ideology, and practically in the art she made and the relationships she cultivated. She endeavored to make art out of everything. Most of the time it worked, sometimes it didn't, but she persevered.
Moving from her birthplace in Mexico, she proudly brought her culture with her wherever she went. At family gatherings you knew when she arrived, her laugh heralded mirth. You could not help but get swept up in it. You would laugh even if you did not hear the punchline. She could take tragedy and with a few words rework it into comedy. You would cry from laughter.
With her husband, she worked tirelessly for her dreams, and when she had children, she helped them work for theirs. Together they built their oasis where she was hostess to many holiday parties and gatherings for her family and friends. Her giving was infinite. She loved as she lived - completely and fearlessly.
She is survived by her loving husband, Salvador Placencia Jr.; four sons, Salvador Placencia III, Michael Placencia, Jeffrey Stephen Placencia, and Sergio Enrique Placencia; a granddaughter, Alyssa Amber Placencia; her parents, Maria Isabel and Emeterio Mendoza; five sisters, Maria Esther Marquez, Hortencia Reyes, Yolanda Maldonado, Maria Elena Maldonado, and Marybelle Plourd; two brothers, Fernando Mendoza, and Raul Mendoza. She is also survived by the family and friends she inspired to be better people. We walk with her in our hearts everyday.
Service will be held on Friday, July 26, 2013 at 4 p.m. at Miller Jones Motuary in Hemet, CA.
The family suggests memorials to American Breast Cancer Foundation. Please sign the guest book online at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ivpressonline