Cover photo for Maria  Pires  Lourence 's Obituary
Maria  Pires  Lourence  Profile Photo
1934 Maria 2022

Maria Pires Lourence

March 21, 1934 — April 11, 2022

Maria Pires Lourence 88, of Galt, passed away peacefully on April 11th, after a short stay at Sutter General Hospital, surrounded by three of her children. She was the wife of Oneal S. Lourence and would have celebrated their 69th year of marriage on April 12th.

Maria was born in Porto Judeu, Terceira, Azores in 1934 to Jose B. and Zulmira R. Pires. As a little girl she liked to play grown-up cooking, cleaning, and planting flowers. She sometimes pretended to cook for the young village boys who were pretending to bullfight. Even though Maria grew up during the years after the depression and there was much poverty, the Pires family managed. In 1950, Maria at the age of 15, her parents and her two siblings made the trip to America, the land of abundance!

A couple of years later, one of the village boys, who had come to the U.S. a year before her, was eagerly pursuing her hand in marriage. They began their life together as man and wife, and shortly after ventured into the dairy business. In Modesto, they had their first baby girl, Philomena, and followed that with a baby boy, Onesimo. Soon after, they moved to a small dairy farm in Elk Grove, until they bought their own dairy ranch in Galt.

The couple had another son, Joe, a couple of days after losing Oneal’s dad. Maria found work at the St. Pius Seminary on Twin Cities Rd., where she began as a helper to the cook. She learned well, so much so that the Golden Acorn Restaurant soon hired her as a cook. As she began to grow in her cooking knowledge, and Oneal grow in the dairy business, they had their 3rd son, Frank. Maria started her own business when she ran two cafés for the local cattle auction yards for a couple of years. In 1967, she was at Oneal’s side as he became the first president of the S.E.S. Festa of Elk Grove, and helped when she could at the Portuguese Hall. Maria also was dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, and many times helped at the Festa in Thornton. And then completing the family, another daughter was born, and she was named Maria, like her mom.

Maria and Oneal took their family on an eight-month vacation trip to the Azores to show their kids where they had been born. When they returned the family started back into the dairy business. Maria and Oneal also worked at the Thornton Cannery for a few years. Before long, Maria started her catering business, with the help of Oneal and some wonderful lady friends. She made wedding cakes, sometimes flower arrangements, and prepared a buffet of delicious food to feed many guests at large weddings. Over the years, some of the couples would remind Maria of how wonderful she had made their weddings special for them. After selling her catering business, Maria and Oneal were involved in the Lodi Family Restaurant for a couple of years.

Maria loved all kinds of flowers, roses especially. When she was younger and more able, she loved to grow all kinds of things in her garden on the ranch. She loved to cook all kinds of food, especially Portuguese food. It was her way of showing her love to her family and friends. She was retired and feeling some health concerns when she and Oneal sold the ranch and bought their home in Galt. There she made quilts, afghans, pillows, and many other things, usually as gifts. Her hands were never idle.

Maria is survived by her husband, Oneal, her five children; Philomena “Phil” (Bob Hall-deceased), Onesimo “Nez” (Beth), Joe (Karen), Frank (Shirley), and Maria “Mary” (Michael Hunt). Also by her sister, Zelma (Bob Sousa), and brother, Joe L. Pires. She is also survived by her six grandchildren, Frank Jr., Kim (Clay Babbitt), Miguel (Tiffany), Jonathan (Susan), Rick (Jacqui), Joshua, and seven great-grandkids; Brody, Brooklyn, Wyatt, Lainny, Bennett, Piper, and Marko. Also leaving behind many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.

We give our thanks to all the family and friends who have reached out to us with their prayers and condolences. We also thank the East Lawn Funeral and Mortuary of Elk Grove for handling Maria’s funeral services listed below.

Viewing at East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary, 9189 E. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA
Thursday, April 28th, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm with a Rosary to at 7:00 pm.

Funeral Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 9981 Elk Grove Florin Rd., Elk Grove, CA
Friday, April 29th, at 11:00 am followed by reception at S.E.S. Hall, 10428 E. Stockton Blvd.,
Elk Grove, CA

Burial will follow Mass at the Galt/Arno Cemetery, 14180 Joy Drive, Galt, CA

Family and friends are invited to join us at the cemetery or wait for us at the reception hall for our return from the cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maria Pires Lourence , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary Chapel

Thursday, April 28, 2022

5:00pm - 12:20 am (Pacific time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

5:00pm - 12:20 am (Pacific time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 15

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree