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Mary Louise Carrasco peacefully passed away in her sleep on July 22, 2022, at the home of her niece Laura Williams, in Campbell, CA, at the age of 97. She was the beloved daughter of Benancio (José Venancio) Alvarado and Juana (Juanita) Sifuentes Fabela, both from Durango, Mexico. Mary was born on June 21, 1925, in the town of Winslow, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation Reservation.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 49-years Valente Dominquez Carrasco (from Santa Paula, California), her brother Joesph Alvarado, and her sisters: Josefina Alvarado, Antoinette Chacón, Jessie Molina, Margaret Alvarado, and Julia Alvarado.
Mary is survived by her loving four children: Victor (Viginia) Carrasco of San Jose, Diana Romo of Gridley, Amalia (Juana) Carrasco of Campbell, Louis Carrasco of Hawaii; grandmother of eight and eight great-grandchildren; by her beloved sister Dolores Hamlin and sister-in-law Marie Alvarado, her nephews Andrew Saucedo and Joe Saucedo, her great-nephew Jason Williams, and by her ‘Very Best Friend’ throughout their many decades of friendship, Lupe Navarro.
Once married, Mary was a stay-at-home wife and mother caring for her husband, children, and home in the City of Campbell. Mary was always enthusiastic about her music; she both sang and played the guitar since she was seven years old. She and her sister Jesse sang on the local San Jose Radio Station KLOV and at local social events in the Santa Clara Valley through their teen years. Due to the Depression, Mary had to leave school and began working at the various Canneries of Sunnyvale at the age of twelve, to help support the family. In 1942, when WWII started, the government converted the canneries to factories for manufacturing military equipment. At the age of seventeen, Mary became part of the “War Effort” on the production line working long days until the end of the war. It was during this time when the “Big Bands’ came to perform in the Cities of San Jose and Oakland, when Mary along with her girlfriends (and a chaperon) made their way on their ‘Saturday Day Off’ to go dance and listen to the music. In the 1990s, she and her friend Lupe Navarro were part of the musical group that played guitars and sang for masses and religious events at the St. John Vianney Catholic Church in San Jose.
After she became a widow, Mary was the first one dancing with her walker around the floor, enjoying the recorded music or of a ‘live band’ that would come to perform for the residents at the Valley Village Retirement Community in Santa Clara. Even though she participated in various activities at Valley Village; organized activities like Mexican Bingo, lawn bowling, gave Spanish lessons, participated on the Resident Council of Officers, she was also an avid reader, loved her daily walks, and her Tai Chi exercises. But it was always her music that she cherished most. She was known for her weekly ‘Sing-Along’ Class, where she would play her guitar and sing while leading a large group in songs of the Season, and of favorites songs, old and new. At Christmas time, she would give four performances.
Mary remained a fiercely strong independent woman who loved movement and life. She was elegant in dress and stature, will be lovely remembered by her ever-present-smile, her laugh, her beautiful singing voice, of the artistry of her guitar skill, her giant heart, her honesty, and storytelling.
Laura Williams wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to our Bridge Hospice Team for their special attention, great support and kindness given to my Aunt Mary. She was a ‘Role Model’ to me, and family members and friends will deeply miss her.
Please consider donating to the American Cancer Society in honor of Mary's thirty years as a survivor by clicking here.