Maria Gracia Mendez Magdaleno

Maria Garcia Mendez Magdaleno, age 85, passed away peacefully at home May 21, 2021 after a lengthy illness.  She was born June 9, 1935 in Arenal del Centro, Guerrero Mexico, the eldest of five children.

She was preceded in death by her husband Obdulio Magdaleno, parents Teresa Quevedo Mendez and Eugenio Garcia, siblings Felix Mendez and Regina Mendez, along with her son-in-law Jesus Aguayo.

Our mother was a woman of many talents and gifts that she used to better her community.  She immigrated to the United States in 1963 and worked hard along with our Dad to give our family a better life.  Working a variety of jobs from the carrot packing sheds to establishing her own successful flower business, Maria’s Roses & Ribbons, until her retirement in 2017; she was a non-stop dynamo.  In addition, she devoted her time to St. Mary of the Nativity church, San Pablo de Colores Cursillo movement, and Al-Anon Family Groups establishing the first Spanish speaking Al-Anon group “Solo Por Hoy” in 1983 in Monterey County.  Under her leadership this group continues today offering support and encouragement to our local families affected by alcohol use disorder.

Her life was a living example of her favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 4:32 — “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”

Maria Gracia is survived by her children Guadalupe Aguayo, Idalia (Danny) Ow and Jose Magdaleno, all of Salinas.  Grandchildren: Alicia (Ozzie) Mendoza, Jesus Aguayo Jr. and Marilu Aguayo (Alain Rodriguez), Corrine and Derrick Ow.  Great grandchildren: Michael and Jason Mendoza, Nicholas, Desiree and Shaymus Aguayo, Andrea Gutierrez, Roberto Aguayo and Annabelle Rodriguez.  Great-great grandchildren: Alysse and Jordan.  Her brothers and wives; Domingo and Angela Mendez of Guerrero Mexico, Jose and Otilia Mendez of Veracruz Mexico and her many nephews and nieces, godchildren along with extended family and friends.  All of these she loved and touched deeply.

Maria Garcia will most be remembered by the love and generosity she lavished on others and her love of fashionable hats & scarves accessorizing her stylish outfits.   

She will be missed beyond measure, but her legacy will continue in all those whose lives she touched.

A Funeral Mass will take place Thursday, June 3, 2021 at Madonna del Sasso Church. A Rosary will begin the services at noon followed by Mass at 1pm. 

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Salinas Relay for Life “Team Cancer Slayers” American Cancer Society 945 South Main Street, Suite 201 Salinas, CA 93901 or online at