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Carmen Trasviña

Obituary Condolences

Carmen Trasviña Obituary
Carmen Puente Trasviña

Carmen Puente Trasviña passed away peacefully at home on Friday evening, August 1 surrounded by her daughter Nicky, son John and grandson Nicolas. She is also survived by her daughter Jeannine, son-in-law Tony, granddaughters Michelle, Lori and Alyssa, a sister, nieces, nephews and 3 great grandsons. Carmen now joins in heaven her husband Juan, grandson AJ and other family and loved ones.
Carmen was born in Havana, Cuba where her father worked for Holland America Shipping. His later post as Chief U.S. Representative of the National Railways of Mexico took the Puente Family to their native Mexico and to San Francisco in the 1920s. Carmen attended San Francisco's public and parochial schools including Aptos Junior High, Notre Dame de Victoires High and Balboa High.
In May, 1938, she met Juan Trasviña while applying for a job at KPO Radio. She did not get the job but he began his courtship that led to their marriage in December, 1941. They treasured experiences working at the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island. Wartime meant a long and distant three year wait as Juan's Army service took him to Algiers. Carmen dedicated herself to social work for families of POWs and veterans through the American Red Cross in Kansas City and San Francisco. This experience grew her desire to serve the community and teach young people. She was a proud graduate of San Francisco State College in Social Work in 1955 and began her teaching career at Mercy High School.
On the winds of change of the 1960s, particularly for women and minorities, Carmen emerged as an active community member and leader. She was one of the first bilingual education teachers in San Francisco at James Lick Jr. High and proudly joined the first teacher strike as a member of the American Federation of Teachers in 1967. She championed immigrant students facing discrimination and, upon attaining her Masters Degree in Education from the University of San Francisco, became a vice principal of many SF public schools including Newcomer High, AP Giannini Junior High and McAteer. At the same time, she served on the Mayor's Child Care Council, Oceanview-Merced Heights-Ingleside Community Association and other boards. And she inspired and mentored innumerable students and young teachers who valued her wise counsel. In her retirement years, she worked as a Spanish-language court interpreter at the Hall of Justice.
In gradually declining health since 2000, Carmen spent her final years resting at home with Juan thanks to medical professionals and caregivers from On Lok and the Women's Colectiva of La Raza Centro Legal. The Trasviña Family is grateful to the especially warm, expert and loving care that extended Carmen's years and quality of life.
Carmen will be remembered always as a guiding light, loving teacher, and foe of injustice. She gave of herself generously and only asked of others for others and themselves.
Preceded by viewing and gathering at 11AM, Funeral Services will be held at Noon, Friday, August 8 at Duggan's Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Avenue, Daly City. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, 1500 Old Mission Rd, Colma.

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 5, 2014
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