Maria Montes Fink
1930 to 2013
Resident of San Jose, CA
Admired by all who knew her, Maria Montes Fink passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family. Maria was a strong and elegant woman, possessed of extraordinary energy and generosity, and a lifelong belief in the power of political activism.
Born in Brawley, California to Luis and Rosa Montes, the family settled in San Jose where Maria married and began her family of five children. In 1969 she married Francis Fink, adding four more children to her family. She considered her children her greatest accomplishment.
Her lifelong commitment to social justice, human dignity and labor continued when she joined the Santa Clara County Public Health department in 1962. She forged a partnership for union activism with her late husband Francis Fink, a well known local labor and civil rights activist. Maria received many commendations for her service, notably from San Jose mayor Susan Hammer and President Bill Clinton. She was thrilled to attend Clinton's 2000 inauguration and ball as an invitee of the Democratic party representing SEIU International Retirees.
Above all Maria Montes Fink, a gourmet cook, loved her large multicultural family. She embodied to its fullest extent, the word "matriarch," acting as a surrogate mother to any and all who came her way. She insisted all who dared enter her kitchen learn the cha-cha. Maria and Francis shared 42 wonderful years of marriage and politics, filled with food, music, dancing and laughter in Maria's kitchen.
Maria is preceded in death by her loving husband Francis, daughters Maria Teresa and Kathy, and son Rufino. She is survived by children: Dolores (Daniel), Joann (Jennifer), Amando (Luz), Chris (Makiel), Tom, and Libby, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, her siblings: Fidel, Amando and Consuelo (Jim). We extend our sincerest gratitude to Nicanor Barcellano for his loving care of Maria during her final years.
A memorial celebration of life is being planned for June 29, 2013.