At rest with Our Lord, Carmen Maestas, age 95, longtime parishioner of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church since moving from St. Paul’s parish in San Francisco in 1980, passed away on June 7, 2021. She is reunited in Heaven with her husband, the Rev. Deacon Alfredo Maestas Sr., and sons Alfred Jr., Joseph Eloy, Gilbert and grandson John Paul. She leaves behind six children: Viola, Yolanda, Reba Ann, Rachel, Mary and Thomas (Delia), 22 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild, and several bonus grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Countless nieces and nephews and godchildren join us in mourning her loss.
Carmen was born on February 5, 1926 in Bovina, Texas, and raised in Littlefield, where she spent her youth between school and picking cotton and other crops. Losing her mother, Silveria Martinez Gomez, when she was 11, Carmen’s education was cut short so that she could help her father, Antonio, to care for her brother, nieces and nephews. After marrying her childhood friend in 1948, they would eventually move to San Francisco, CA in 1954, settling in the Noe Valley neighborhood, sending all 9 children to St. Paul’s Catholic schools. Our parents were proud of their 3 story Victorian on Clipper Street, and many family and friends enjoyed legendary parties and meals there. With a large family, that meant many birthday, graduation and confirmation celebrations, and my parents were fun and gracious hosts.
A devout Catholic, our Mother endlessly prayed the rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary, not only for her family, but also for anyone who asked her intercession for their requests. After retirement, Mom attended many religious pilgrimages to Medjugorje, Lourdes, Rome and the Holy Land. Mom often recounted stories of ‘miracles’ she experienced during her travels, especially because, despite severe arthritis in her knees and hips, she was always able to walk and climb hills to see the holy sites. Once, when she was in Medjugorje, she forgot her cane in her room. Walking into the bathroom just before climbing the mount, there was a cane just inside the room, as if placed there especially for her. Mom believed her devotion to Saint Teresa of Calcutta healed her of multiple myeloma.
Carmen hand-stitched many family quilts, using material from clothing handed down multiple times. She was a great cook and most beloved for her handmade flour tortillas. That skill was passed down to just a select few, and one of her granddaughters is blessed to most closely match hers. Christmas was incomplete without her dozens of tamales and menudo. Mom and Dad were married 54 wonderful years until his passing in 2003. They were known to glide gracefully around the dance floor to the tunes of ranchera music: Mom said she only danced with the best, and her Dad’s moves proved that. With Dad strumming the guitar, they harmonized beautifully to corridos at family gatherings. Mom enjoyed bingo, loved her casino trips, and loved to read.
Carmen was employed as a housekeeper at St. Luke’s Hospital, then by Schlage Lock in San Francisco until they closed their operations there.
Viewing will be private. Friends are invited to the visitation on Thursday, June 17, 2021 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm., and join the family for the Rosary service at 6:00 pm. PL Fry & Son will live-stream the Rosary service. The link is posted above and will go live at 6:00 pm when the service begins. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church at 505 E. North Street, Manteca CA 95337 on Friday, June 18, 2021 at 11:00 am. Internment will be at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery 17871 Carrolton Road, Escalon CA 95320.
In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to St. Paul's Building Fund 221 Valley St. San Francisco, Ca 94131 or to a Charity of Choice.
To send flowers to Carmen's family, please visit our floral store.