FERBAL ESTEVEZ, MARIA DEL PILAR SAN DIEGO -- It is with the sadness of loss that we regretfully inform you of the death of our dear Aunt, MarÃa del Pilar Ferbal EstÃ©vez, who passed on January 14, 2013 at the age of 89 in San Diego. Pilar was born in 1923 in Huesca, Spain. She came to be the eldest of three siblings (Pilar, Luisa and Daniel), then eventually to become the matriarch of the family and caretaker of all. She was a strong-willed woman with a huge giving heart; full of life, love and sense of adventure. She enjoyed travelling, eating, socializing, and gardening. Pilar had a passion for History as she lived through much of it and then taught it to so many others. As a young girl, she spent much of her childhood in Granada, Spain. In 1936, the Ferbal Family fled from the Spanish Civil War and relocated to Paris were they lived until 1940. They fled from Paris when the German troops marched on the city during World War II. The family headed south to Marseilles where Pilar's mother, Grandmother Maria Luisa, sold her last jewels to be able to purchase tickets for passage on a ship heading to America. The family of five eventually arrived in Veracruz, Mexico and soon afterward Pilar and her family found themselves starting a new life in Mexico City. Pilar and her family lived in Mexico City for 16 years. She completed a Master's Degree in History and Social Sciences and teaching credentials at the Normal Superior de Maestros in Tepic, Nayarit. In 1956, she moved to Tijuana where she obtained a history teacher
position in the Escuela Secundaria Federal No. 1 in Centro Escolar LÃ¡zaro CÃ¡rdenas, which was located in the old Agua Caliente casino grounds. After 30 years of dedicated service as a teacher, she was promoted to the position of Vice Principal at the Escuela Secundaria Federal No. 3 in the Obrera neighborhood of Tijuana. After 33 years of loyalty and dedication as a middle school teacher and with the admiration and love of thousands of students that passed through her classrooms, she decided to retire from the SecretarÃa de EducaciÃ³n PÃºblica. In 1974, after the passing of her sister-in-law, her brother Daniel and his children Danny and Madeleine moved into Pilar's home where she lived with her sister Luisa. Pilar never married and dedicated her life to taking care of her family. She helped raise her niece and nephew and they became the children she never had. TÃa Pili was their favorite aunt and became their second mom. In 1986, not long after the death of her younger brother Daniel, Pilar moved to San Diego to continue to take care of her niece and nephew who were then young adults. After retiring from teaching in Tijuana, given she still wanted to be active and a contribution, she became a teacher's aide at San Diego Unified School District, where she worked the following 18 years as a teacher's assistant with special needs children between the ages of 3 to 6. She is survived by her sister Maria Luisa (87), nephew Daniel and niece Madeleine; as well as nephews Dan and Brent. The viewing has been scheduled on Friday, January 18, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Featheringill Mortuary (6322 El Cajon Blvd. in San Diego) and a crypt-side entombment service will be on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum.