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Marie A. ESPARZA

August 26 1954 - January 17 2014

Our most beloved Christian wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and aunt, is now at home with our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Born in El Paso, Texas, Marie was an infant when her family moved to California. She graduated from UC Irvine, CA. She was a foreign exchange student at the University of Madrid and University of Barcelona, Spain, where she met her husband Larry, then in the military as a sailor in the U.S. Navy, who proposed to her on their first date. They were married for 38 years. In her love for God, she served in various churches throughout her life's travels as a Sunday school teacher, church choir, usherette and youth leader. She was always eager to share God's Love to all. Marie led a full, rich life. She served as a military wife from 1976-2005, U.S. Navy and Army. Her life occupation was as a schoolteacher to special ed./disabled children. She was a school counselor for Hispanic children and families at risk; a social worker for Persons with HIV/AIDs; and did foster care parenting for Sonoma County and was an in-home care provider for the elderly. She loved the ocean, but her favorite place was swimming in the warm waters of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where she enjoyed her grandchildren. Her love for her two pet Chihuahuas, Mijolay and Mijalay were also a major part of her care for all of God's creations - in whom she found comfort and joy. During the holidays Marie and her sister Gloria became "tamaleras" -- where they made plenty of tamales for their family and friends. "It was a great time getting together with our daughters, teaching them how to carry on the tradition of making tamales just like our mother taught us," remembers Gloria.
She is survived by her husband Larry; her daughters Marbella and her husband Jon Alford with three grandchildren, Ciana, Kainoa, and Matteo Alford; daughter Roxanne Esparza; father-in-law, Frank Esparza; mother-in-law; Dolores Barrón; sisters-in-law, Adela Sanchetti and her husband Paul and her daughter Amanda Bravo; Julie La Dolce and her sons Joey and Johnny; Marisa Mack and her husband Geoff and their sons Kaleb, Kenny, and Angel; brother Jerry Esparza and his wife Heather and their children Brandon and his wife Anna and their children Alex and Jenea. She is eldest daughter to Alfred and Frances Arrieta and has nine surviving siblings: Christina Lindsay and her children Alex and David; Joe Arrieta; Gloria and husband Michel Sherman and her daughter Mika Nave; Diane and husband James Kenna and sons Ruairi and Sean; John Arrieta and son Derek; and daughters Jacqueline and her daughters Aurora and Lily; Adrienne and husband Ryan Gray and daughter Sophia; Allison and husband Jeff Santos; Sandra Mastron and husband Glenn, and sons Gary and Kevin; Frank Arrieta and wife Rossana and Frank's children Bryan and Lauren; Alex Arrieta and wife Arlene and daughter Ally; youngest brother Arturo Arrieta and cousin Rose Arrieta; aunts Vicha Innocencio and Maye Torres; uncle Mauro Arrieta, Tío Severo, and numerous other cousins. With a servant's heart she loved her family, local community and country. She brought light into darkness, love and compassion to all whom she touched. May she rest in peace. Que descanse en paz y que Dios te bendiga.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, January 25th at 3 p.m., Calvary Life Church, 5965 Labath Ave; Rohnert Park, Ca.


Published Online in the Press Democrat from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2014
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