Leonila Bautista Vega

Vega, Leonila Bautista Executive Director of the Direct Care Alliance, passed away peacefully on November 19, 2012 at her home in South Milwaukee, WI, after a courageous battle with cancer. Beloved girlfriend of Brad Nelson for twenty-five years, Leonila is the daughter of the late J. Dolores Vega Olvera. She is survived by her mother, Ignacia Bautista Vega; sister, Esmeralda Dolores Vega Bautista; brother, Enrique Dolores Vega Bautista; nieces, Yajaira Rocha Vega and Laura Esmeralda Rocha Vega; grandnieces, Diann Jukary Juárez Rocha and Joceelyn Naikary Juárez Rocha; and nephew, Raghid Rocha Vega. Growing up poor in a small town in central Mexico, Leonila came to the United States where she graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in Comparative Literature, and later received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Leonila followed her dream of helping direct care workers find their own voices so they can advocate for themselves and their profession by founding the Direct Care Alliance (DCA), a national non-profit advocacy organization based in New York City. Leonila was loved by many and will live in our hearts and minds forever. Private services were held. If desired, tax deductible donations can be made to the DCA at www.directcarealliance.org\donate.

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Dec. 2, 2012