Cecilia Camacho, 83 of Calexico, CA peacefully passed away at El Centro Regional Hospital on January 5, 2021. Cecilia was born on November 22, 1937 in Calexico, CA. She was the daughter of Alberto and Jesus Camacho. She was the fourth oldest sibling out of 12 children. Cecilia was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Paula; brothers, Antonio, Manuel, Jose, and Francisco. Cecilia attended school up to 9th grade at Calexico High School but had to stop attending school to work full time and help her parents out financially to support her younger siblings. Cecilia worked as a migrant farm laborer her whole life until she retired in 1997. She worked all over the state, from Blythe to Salinas and everywhere in between. She even worked in parts of Arizona such as Yuma and Parker. To make ends meet, Cecilia found work in harvesting all types of agriculture crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, asparagus, and carrots to name a few. However, with time, Cecilia worked her way up and became a foreman of her crew while employed by Bruch Church Inc. in the 1960s. Later, she was further promoted as the supervisor of the plant. A task that very few women were able to accomplish in an industry that was dominated by men. She was one of the first women in that company to hold such a position and she was also among the first women to be licensed and granted permission to drive a field labor bus. Cecilia was ahead of her time, a natural leader that was well respected by her employers and coworkers. Even years after she had retired, many of them would stop by her home to visit her. Cecilia never married or had any children of her own. The loves of her life were her siblings and their children; her nieces and nephews. She was immensely proud of her family and took great pride in all their accomplishments. She always made it a priority to attend their birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and any other special occasions. As she got older and it became more difficult for her to travel, she would still telephone to wish them all a happy birthday, a Merry Christmas, or a Happy New Year. She always made sure to decorate her home for the different holidays and was often in charge of decorating for many of her family's special occasions. Cecilia loved to host for the holidays, family birthday parties, and family reunions at her home; and was notoriously known for hosting the best of parties with plenty of amazing food, refreshments, music, and entertainment. What made her happiest was seeing her family enjoy their time at her home. Cecilia always made her home available to all her family and friends. All of them, were always welcome wholeheartedly in her home at 310 Encinas Avenue. This was the home that 3 generations of the Camacho Family members came to know fondly as "La 310." For over 60 years, this home was Cecilia's pride and joy. Cecilia always made sure that the house was in immaculate condition. The front and back yard were filled with trees and colorful flowers, where she often spent her evening gardening and socializing with her neighbors. Inside the house, she surrounded herself with pictures of her family and decorations according to the current holiday. The kitchen was filled with wonderful aromas coming from her cooking. Cecilia was known as an excellent cook and among her specialty dishes were enchiladas, chicken mole, chile rellenos, and empanadas de carne. Cecilia was a firm believer that sharing was caring, and often would send out food to family, friends, and neighbors. Cecilia's door was always open, not only to family and friends, but also to the members of her community. Cecilia never hesitated help to others. Everyone in her neighborhood knew that they could stop by and just walk right in through the kitchen sliding door, where they would be greeted with a smile, a refreshing drink and something to eat. Cecilia even made it a point to stock a refrigerator in her front porch with cold water bottles, Gatorades, and sodas and made it known to everyone in the community that they were more than welcome to come by and grabbed one; especially, on those hot summer days. She often helped her neighbors with their completing paperwork by translating it for them from English to Spanish, assisting them in scheduling doctor appointments or even giving them a ride to their doctor visits. She never hesitated to help run errands or buy groceries for those that were not physically able to get around or did not have the means to do so. Cecilia was also known to give away groceries, clothing, or other items to those in need. Even during these unprecedent times, where certain items were hard to come by, Cecilia never hesitated to share whatever cleaning and/or PPE supplies that she had available. For Cecilia, it was simple, if she could help another, she would with no questions asked. As much she loved being at home, Cecilia also enjoyed going to Laughlin and Las Vegas. In addition, she never missed an opportunity to make a trip to a local casino or attend a Padres baseball game. She would frequently be out and about in town, taking full advantage of any specials or sales that would come up at some of her favorite stores such as Target, Home Depot, Lucky's Supermarket and Costco. However, it was the simpler things in life such as gardening, cooking, socializing with family and friends that brought her the most joy. Some of her fondest memories were those moments she shared with loved ones gathering around her kitchen table, talking, laughing, and enjoying a delicious homecooked meal that she made with what she often called her "secret" ingredient, love. Cecilia loved watching Shirley Temple movies and reruns of Bonanza and The Golden Girls. Although she lived a simple life, life was not always fair to her, but no matter that obstacle life put in her path, Cecilia always found the strength to overcome it and never lost her love for life and those she shared it with. She is survived by her siblings, Alberto, Lucio, Jesus, Armando, Pedro, and Arturo Camacho; her aunt, Cruz Nunez, along with numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews. Funeral viewing services will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at Frye Chapel and Mortuary, 799 Brawley Avenue, Brawley, CA. Immediately afterwards, the burial services will begin at 11 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, 201 E. Gillett Street, El Centro.
Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Feb. 14, 2021.