On Monday, September 7, 2020, Mary E. Ventura passed away peacefully at home, at the age of 81. She had a year plus battle with pulmonary disease.
A resident of San Jose, Mary was born at San Jose Hospital to Tommie Estair and Virginia Robles on August 15, 1939. She was raised and educated in San Jose, but also lived briefly in Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Campbell.
She was the eldest of nine children: five siblings and four step siblings.. She spoke fondly of her brothers and sisters, and of her Robles family: Tata, Nana, and of her aunts and uncles who were a big part of her upbringing.
In 1959 she was married and went on to have seven children of her own, including a foster child, She watched over her family with the maternal protection that loving mothers have for their children.
From her children, Mary was very proud to be the grandmother of 24, the great-grandmother of 20, and she had one great-great grandchild. In addition she had several step grandkids who knew her as their Grandma. She was the matriarch of our family and it's her grandchildren who brought her the pleasure and joy that filled her heart later in life.
Despite a large family Mary was active in many endeavors and worked at several jobs in her life. She started off working with her family in the fields of the South Bay including the orchards of the Oka Family. When Mr. Oka and his family were interned during WWII her family purchased some land in Saratoga to work.
Later in life she worked at the Del Monte cannery, in local restaurants like Renzo's in Campbell, the Gloria Marshall Figure Salon at Almaden Plaza, at H&R Black in Palo Alto, and at the NASA Ames Research Center Gift Shop, She also volunteered and worked for local politicians.
For many years Mary was very pleased to be an active participant at her local Jazzercise classes, where she became dear friends with her fellow participants. She also enjoyed the time she volunteered with the San Jose Parks and Recreation Department at the Willow Glen Community Center.
Mary had an infectious smile and laugh, loved to dance and sing (especially to her beloved Mexican music), and although private in many ways she was a magnet for people to turn to her for advise, comfort, or just to talk. Her legacy includes many people outside her immediate family who call her Mom.
She will be greatly missed.
Mary is survived by her husband George, her son's and daughters Sal, Val, Elizabeth, Eydie, Angel, Julia, and Alice; by her remaining siblings; and by her loving grandchildren.
A private service will be held for her in October at Los Gatos Memorial Park. Because the service will be small and private it will be streamed on the web for family and friends. For details go to the CaringBridge.org website and search by name.
For donations in lieu of flowers, she regularly donated to the St. Judes Children's Research Hospital, and to Catholic charities such as the St. Vincent De Paul Society and EWTN. Donation information will also be on her webpage through CaringBridge.org