Mary Helen went home to be with the Lord at the age of 84 years on October 23, 2022, surrounded by family, close friends, beautiful flowers, and her favorite Christian hymns. Just as her daughter was blessed to be held in her mother’s loving arms at birth, Jesus gave them their final moments together in the same loving embrace as she went home to heaven.
Born in Pacoima, California, on June 15, 1938, to Jose M. and Maria T. Daniel. She was the third eldest of 16 siblings. Predeceased by her former husband, Manuel S. Diaz and father of her two children, Manuel (wife Lindie) and Rosemary (husband Steve). Grandsons Michael (wife Mirna), Blaize, Philip (wife Vanessa), Colton (wife Amanda), Talon, granddaughter Nautica, and great-grandchildren, Bella Grace , Elijah Emmanuel, Isaiah Jordan, and another little blessing on the way this August 2023. Mary Helen and Manuel remained friends and companions until the Lord took him home on April 19, 2009.
Beloved sister of 15 siblings, Rosalie (husband Joe), Stella (husband Robert), Lupe (husband Joe), Irene (husband Jim), Margaret (husband David), Rachel, and Hortensia. Siblings by mothers second marriage, Gloria and Amelia. Siblings by fathers second marriage to Celia Daniel, Joe (wife Gina), Jennie (husband Ramon), Gloria (husband Rene), Miguel, Francisco, and Enrique (wife Olivia).
Beloved Tia Nena to many beloved nieces and nephews, from both the Diaz and Daniel side of the families.
Beloved "Tio Ramon" her father’s brother, helped raise her and was like a second father, who later married and had a family of his own with wife Amada and son, Javier.
Mary was a lady of Christian faith who was a hard-working single mother and started at an early age as a factory worker, then went to school to become a Medical Assistant. It was a career she loved and was proud to be a part of as a Medical Assistant and hospital Phlebotomist.
As a thriving senior, she volunteered her time at church, learned to swim, even the fear of water didn't stop her, she made the jump off the diving board and into the deep end of the pool! She went back to school, received her high school diploma, which inspired her classmates and family to never give up, and it's never too late to accomplish your dreams.
She was the loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, who always managed to find a way to bring joy to our hearts. Her loving compassionate heart shined through her beautiful smile, sparkling eyes, and fashion. She loved spending time with her family, dancing, singing, being surrounded in God's natural beauty by spending time at the beach (Santa Barbara, Monterey, Coronado Island, San Francisco), walking in the sand collecting seashells and sand dollars, listening and watching the birds and butterflies, and was always ready for any chance to be in the beauty of God's creation.
She loved telling quirky jokes, making people laugh, going to the movies for her tub of popcorn with extra butter, candy for her sweet tooth, and iced cold Pepsi. On special occasions she'd receive a box of her favorite See's candy, which she was always willing to share, like everything else.
Mary was always ready to share the love of Jesus with everyone she crossed paths with, until the Lord took her home to glory, to sing His praises alongside the angels. Despite her challenges with Dementia, her heart always belonged to Jesus, and her heart’s desire was that everyone would know how deep the Father's love for them is and would one day join her in heaven. Everyone is worthy of this free gift of love and faith just for the asking for He knows our hearts. (John 3:16) For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Mary's Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Friday, May 12, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., at Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Dr., Santa Barbara, CA. 93109
Interment will be held on Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 11:00 am., at East Lawn Elk Grove Memorial Park, 9189 E. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624
In lieu of flowers, please volunteer your time, or donate in Mary's name to your local Dementia/Alzheimer's Association, Home Church, Favorite Charity, or Free Methodist Church for allowing us to honor her memory here in one of her favorite places, Santa Barbara, California.