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Obituary of Maria Magdalena (Nina) Vasquez Munoz
Maria Magdalena (Nina) Vasquez Muñoz passed away peacefully on the evening of April 24, 2020 at the age of 103. Nina was born on March 18, 1917, near Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico, to her parents Juan T. Vazquez and Juana Ascencio Vasquez. She was one of 14 children. Her family moved to the United States in 1921. In 1939 Nina married John Sanchez Muñoz in Caldwel, Idaho. They soon settled in Modesto, CA, where Rosalie was born the first of five children. In 1961, the family settled on the West Side of Santa Cruz. Early in her life, she became quite adept at cooking for large groups of people and this skill would serve her well as she cooked in agricultural labor camps. The opportunity arose to open a restaurant in Davenport which they named Big John’s Cafe. She worked as the chief cook and pie maker her handmade tortillas, tamales and homemade salsa were highly sought after by all who knew her. Nina showed artistic talent growing up and her artistic flair manifested throughout her life not only in her cooking, but in her gardening, needlepoint, crocheting, and quilt making. Nina was also a voracious reader and great storyteller. Nina was a loving mother and grandmother to her extended family. She had a special gift of empathy for others and touched so many with her uplifting, kind spirit. Nina will be missed by all and will forever live in our hearts. She is predeceased by her husband, John S. Muñoz and her daughters Rosalie Gaines and Dolores Fifer. She is survived by her sister Beatrice Escamilla, her sons John Muñoz (Debra), David Muñoz (Mary), and Conception Muñoz (Bruce), 12 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and several great great grandchildren. The family would like to express sincere gratitude to the many caregivers who attended to her needs in the last chapter of her life. Private internment at Holy Cross Cemetery. A memorial will be scheduled at a later date.
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