My Uncle died last week. Friday was his funeral. My Uncle Bobby was one of my mom's younger brothers. Funny, I always thought he was wayyyy younger than my mom, but I guess they were just 4 years apart. He sure looked really young, even up to last year, when I saw him last, before he got sick. My mom always told the story of how Uncle Bobby returned from the war and his arm had been injured and was paralyzed and they wanted to cut it off - but she wouldn't let them. Low and behold, after her massaging it daily, several months later he was able to use his hand and arm again...not perfectly, but it worked.
Uncle Bobby was really really handsome. He was an impressive dancer and was full of the dickens. He and his older brother, Uncle Richard, loved to pinch our cheeks and say "ay, chula", and we always squirmed and made faces when they did it, but we loved it! He was also an amzing cook- no bar-b-que was complete unless Uncle Bobby had a hand in it!
I was only able to attend the Catholic mass part of his funeral, where his family was given plaques from the Knights of Columbus in honor of him. It was in a huge church - and the church was packed! Later, at the gravesite, he was given a 21 gun Salute, for his heroism in WWII.
He will be deeply missed.
Robert A. Maria
1926 - 2007
Robert A. Maria, 81, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007, at his home, surrounded by his loving family. His warm and generous spirit will be missed by all who knew him.
Bobby was born on April 4, 1926, in Oxnard, where he was a lifelong resident. Bobby's charm was legendary. As a young man, Bobby loved to dance. In 1944, Bobby was working as a longshoreman in Port Hueneme when he was drafted into the Army during World War II. He fought in the Pacific Campaign and at 18 received the Bronze Star in the battle for Okinawa and the Silver Star for heroism in the battles in Saipan. On June 14, 1945, he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action.
He worked 16 years for the Construction Laborers Union, Local 585 and retired after nearly 30 years as a longshoreman from the ILWU, Local 46 Port Hueneme.
Bobby met the love of his life, Angie Revelez, through a mutual friend. They were married at the Santa Barbara courthouse and spent 45 wonderful years together. Always sentimental, Bobby never lost track of how many years they had been married. He presented Angie with a rose for every year until she convinced him that she could not carry so many roses. Together, Bobby and Angie created a warm, loving home for their three children Michael, Richard and Monica.
Bobby was an active member of the Knights of Columbus in Oxnard for many years, donating much of his time to cooking for many events. He took great pride in his avocado and fruit trees. Always lucky, Bobby enjoyed gambling in downtown Las Vegas and Laughlin. Every week he bought his Lotto and scratcher tickets and usually won enough to keep him buying more. He was a loyal fan of University of Southern California football and a proud member of the neighborhood wine society.
Bobby Maria is survived by his loving wife, Angie Maria; children, Michelle Salinas (husband Buddy), Robert J. Maria (wife Dani), Michael Maria, Richard Maria (wife Cyndi) and Monica Torres (husband Francisco); grandchildren, Sean, Katrina, Serena, Robbie, Michelle, Robert, Billy, Alix, and Nicholas; 12 great-grandchildren; sisters Rose Duenez, Sally Bustamante, Alice Carswell, Josie Caudillo, and Kathy Romero; brothers Richard Maria and Peter Maria; and several nieces and nephews.
He will be dearly missed by his walking partner and mother-in-law, Julia Revelez, whom he fondly referred to as Mama.
Bobby was reunited in death with his beloved parents, Pete and Annie Maria; aunt, Josie Soto; sisters Betty Merrill and Maggie Rinaldo; brothers Frank Maria and Tony Espinoza; and cousin, Ray Padilla.
Visitation will be from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at James A. Reardon-Payton Mortuary, 511 North A St., in Oxnard. Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at Santa Clara Catholic Church, 323 South E St., in Oxnard. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at Santa Clara Catholic Church in Oxnard, with burial immediately following at Santa Clara Cemetery.
Robert Maria's family would like to thank the offices of Dr. James Hornstein, Dr. Danny Lai and Dr. Rosemary McIntyre; Kathy Lenz and Yolanda Lopez of Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice. A special thanks to the Maria girls, the daughters of Frank Maria. Y gracias a Licha.