Maria Henriques Pires peacefully passed away at the age of 84, November 7, 2021 surrounded by her loving family. Maria was born December 1, 1936 in Terra Cha, Terceira, Azores to Henrique and Maria Lourenco. In 1958, Maria married the love of her life, Gaspar Reis Pires, and had five children together. January 1974, they immigrated to the United States.
Maria was a devout Catholic with a special love and devotion to the Virgin Mary. She adored praying her rosary daily. She was an avid cook, known for her Portuguese sweetbread and desserts and she was a wonderful seamstress. Maria worked at Eckert Cold Storage in Manteca for 25 years. If you knew Maria, she would say that her family was her greatest accomplishment in life. You could always hear her tell everyone “all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were raised in the Catholic faith.” Also, this may surprise you that she was a HUGE Benfica Soccer fan. If she was watching her games, watch out and don’t bother her. She would love to call her son Joe and tease him if her Benfica team beat his Sporting team. Since COVID hit, she was not able to attend Mass in person, but never missed it broadcasted on TV, both in English and Portuguese. Maria was extremely proud of her Portuguese heritage and that some of her grandsons played for the Azores Band of Escalon, her granddaughters were side maids and queens for the various halls in the area, that gave her such pride.
Maria was preceded in death by her loving husband, Gaspar and her sister Emily Famoso. She is survived by her sister, Alvarina Gomes of Terceira, Azores; her children, Manuel (Maria) Pires of Lodi, Joe (Maria) Pires of Escalon, Angela (Jeff) Cardoza of Escalon, Natercia (Paul) Widmer of Escalon, Mike (Cheryl) Pires of Manteca; grandchildren Marco (Alicia), Raquel, Anthony (Jamie), Jason (Audra), Breanne (Vincent), Travis (Kate), Austin, Logan, Madisyn, Isabella, Michael and Emily; 7 great grandchildren and 3 more on the way.
Deegan Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Pires family. Services for Maria will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Tuesday, November 16, 2021 with a viewing at 9:30 a.m., Recitation of the Rosary at 10:00 a.m., Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. with Committal to follow at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery.
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