April 18, 1933-April 26, 2018
Born to Guadalupe and Consuelo Perez on April 18, 1933 in Brownsville, TX, Maria was their only child. At the age of 11, while skating in front of her father’s restaurant, she pointed out a paperboy she’d never seen before to her aunt and boldly predicted she would marry him one day. On Feb. 9, 1949, she did just that marrying Manuel de la Rosa, Sr.
As a young mother, she worked several jobs, including Gift Wrapper and Elevator Operator at JCPenney’s. She was also a seamstress and sold Avon products.
In 1960 she, her husband and their three children moved to San Antonio where they opened a small café on Josephine Street serving breakfast and lunch to employees from nearby Pepsi Cola, Co., Slater White Cleaners, and Texas Neon Lighting Company. In 1962, a small taco/enchilada stand on Vance Jackson Road led to the opening of La Rosa Mexican Restaurant. The daily specials and catering business took off encouraging a second La Rosa restaurant on Fredericksburg Road in 1966. They retired in 1981 after 21 years as restaurant owners.
While her husband continued working in the restaurant business including La Mansion, she opened a licensed in-home child care business which inspired her to complete a GED in 1988. Continuing her education, she earned an Associate’s Degree in Child Care. She was a second mom “Mimi” to many children in her care. At one time it was said that she had cared for over 200 babies. She continued her business after her husband died in November 1995 retiring in 2001. Not one to sit at home, she volunteered as a Foster Grandparent at St. Paul’s Ministry and Catholic Charities Ministry, earning many commendations for her dedication and caring work with the children.
Always an entrepreneur, she had a side business selling Beeline Clothing, in-home/catalog sales. Maria was known for her ability to spread the Good News, often quoting from the Bible. She was a “walking/talking Bible Thesaurus”. Ask her a where to find a certain verse or scripture and she could tell you without batting an eyelash.
She is survived by five children, Dolores Patiño (Anthony), Manuel de la Rosa, Jr. (Betty), Mary Roszell (Billy), Esther Sahagun (Tim), and Miguel de la Rosa (Angie). Maria had thirteen grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren. She is also survived by several brothers in law, sisters in law, many nieces and nephews, godsons and daughters.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s crept in and stole the last years from her and loved ones. She died peacefully on Thursday, April 26, 2018. We will celebrate this occasion as her birthday into heaven and reunion with her husband.
Maria was blessed to lead a very full life. Her life was a blessing to all of us and made possible what we enjoy today. We thank God for her gift of life and the beauty of her creation in her family. We treasure our memories of her and we will miss her. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to Alzheimer’s San Antonio & South Texas Chapter.
The visitation will be held on May 5 at 10:30 am at Fred J. Tips Mausoleum Chapel (20900 IH 10 West, San Antonio, TX 78257). The funeral service will follow at 12 pm.