Story of Jose and Maria Hernandez (AKA Joe and Marie)
After a courageous and valiant fight, on Wednesday July 3, 2019, Maria Teresa Hernandez, wife of Jose Antonio Hernandez entered into heaven in the presence of her loving family at her bedside. She is preceded in passing by her parents Filemon and Isabel Flores, her sisters Barbara, Inez, and Helen as well as her brother Filemon Jr. Maria was born in French Camp, CA. She lived in Stockton, CA most of her life, in 1967 at a Halloween dance Maria fortuitously met the love of her life but did not know it yet. On that night, having an 11PM curfew Maria had to leave the dance to go home. Her now husband, Jose had the honor and privilege of driving her home as his eyes lit up like a 3-alarm fire. However, not having a car, Jose immediately borrowed a car and offered to drive Maria home, to which she accepted. On the way to the car Maria opened the back door and sat in the backseat of the car, while not saying a word. Feeling nervous, Jose also did not converse with Maria but felt like a Taxi Driver. It wasn’t until years later Jose asked Maria her reason for sitting in the back seat of the car, Maria stated, “I didn’t completely trust you.” A few days later Jose called Maria and asked her out to lunch (Chinese food, her favorite) and she accepted. After a few more dates they both realized that they had found the loves of their lives. Unknown to Maria at the time, Jose had already joined the Marine Corp. With tears in her eyes Jose left for bootcamp training a week later. After about four months later Jose returned home for the first time and he told Maria he was deploying for Vietnam in two weeks. But before leaving Jose told her that when he returned, he was going to marry her. Thirteen months later Jose got back, and Maria called him regarding getting married, and Jose said, “you’re only 17 right now, and you know your dad will never give his permission; so, after you turn 18, we’ll get married”. So, on December 19th, 1969, a little after her 18th birthday Maria and Jose got married.
Jose said getting married was not the hardest part of the day; it was going to her house to tell her parents. Maria’s mother was happy for her, but her father didn’t say a thing. And when Jose said, “can I call you Dad now,” it seemed as if it worsened the situation. That night Maria’s father came to her sister Irma’s and her husband’s house where we were going to stay temporarily, and he rammed Jose’s car several times with his truck before coming in. Jose could tell he had already had a few beers out of the 12 pack he was carrying. He said, “let’s play some pool” (Jose’s Combat Training had not included counter-attacking a Father-in Law) so Jose and Maria went along with it and let him win every game of pool. That night Jose made a promise that he would always take good care of his daughter and find a good job once he was discharged from the Marines. So after about four hours, which seemed like an eternity, Maria’s father left and gave Joe his blessing.
Since Maria was still in High School Jose wanted her to graduate before he could take her with him to San Clemente at Camp Pendleton in June after she graduated. They lived in an apartment a block from the beach for $100 a month until Jose was discharged from active Service. That same year in October, Jose started his career with Corrections as an officer, a career that lasted over 30 years. Over the years Jose and Maria became parents of five wonderful children, Laura (Ben), Jose Jr. (Veronica) Aminna (Nick) Robert (Maria) and Connie. As well as 9 Grand-children, Renee (Roberto), Cameron, Nick Jr., Jacob, Danielle, Robert, Albert Jr., Jonah and Eli, which she loved with all of her heart and soul. She was the best mother and an excellent teacher of compassion, love and guidance to her children. Maria also made it a point to do anything and spoil her grandchildren, and she wasn’t afraid to show it. In addition, Maria leaves behind her sisters Irma (Bob) Diana and brother Greg (Nina), and many nephews and nieces who she also loved very much.
Maria enjoyed traveling with her husband to Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Washington D.C. However, she favored long drives to the coast, Yosemite National Park, and the foothills taking in the scenic routes. She had many hobbies that included cooking for her children and grandchildren, listening to music, reading, and just enjoying gathering around the table with her family. She was committed to finding the best garage sales to ensure her kids always had an abundance of treasures. Of all their travels together, their favorite place to go was Las Vegas for their Anniversary, this year would have been there 50th. But most importantly her most favorite thing to do was to be a home maker, and always having an inviting space to spoil her grandchildren and her husband. Maria will also be greatly missed for her warm and generous nature, but most of all for being a beautiful woman, wife, mother, grandmother and soul filled with a passion for life and unconditional love for her husband.
Jose to Maria: I love you and fell in love with you the first time I kissed you and held you in my arms. Our lifetime together has now ended but that’s only a temporary separation from each other by God. Because when we see each other again, God will make our love together forever. Maria, right now I feel the pain in my heart and soul because of your loss from my life, but I know now that you have been released from the bonds of your pain and suffering from fighting a disease that has no mercy, and are embraced by the wings of heaven where you will find peace. So, until the day comes that I see you again and hold you in my arms again, my heart is yours as it has always been!
There will be no reception (celebration of life) after the burial. My family and I Thank you for being here and paying your respects to Maria. Thank you.