Esther Medina

Esther Medina Resident of San Jose A tireless advocate of the disenfranchised and legendary champion of the Latino community, passed away October 17, 2012, surrounded by her family. Esther's accomplishments are many. She is best known as the executive director of MACSA. She assumed this position when the organization was on the verge of collapse and transformed it into a vibrant organization with an annual operating budget of over $7 million. Chief among these accomplishments was building its headquarters, a senior adult day care center, a multi-purpose youth center and affordable housing projects for seniors. Esther built far more than buildings. She was relentless in her pursuit of economic and social justice. Her zeal to provide assistance to her community resulted in the development of innovative programs for Latino youth, seniors and families. Esther mentored emerging leaders who went on to assume important positions in non-profits, government and industry. Her legacy is that she made our community better, stronger and more just. As a prominent Latino leader she inspired other women by her determination, work ethics and strong beliefs to step forward and join her in the improvment in the quality of their lives. 'My friend Esther epitomized boldness in her style, in her work and in her voice. She would want to be remembered by the continuance of her work' stated former Santa Clara County Supervisor, Blanca Alvarado. Esther was born in Ventura, California, December 15, 1936, and grew up in San Jose. She is survived by her husband Juan San Miguel, daughter Cameo Burton, son Derek (Jeanine) Gonzalez, grandson Cooper Burton, sisters Pilar (Al) Briones, Emily Gonzalez, and Rose (Louie) Valdez. She is preceded in death by her parents Gregorio and Leandra Medina, brothers, Joe, John, Jess and Fred Medina, and many nieces and nephews. Esther will always be remembered for her advocacy on behalf of Latinos, women and the underserved. The celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2012, 11:00am, at Church on the Hill, 500 Sands Drive, San Jose, CA.

Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Oct. 25, 2012