Carmen C. Perez, 91, was born July 17, 1021 in Temacapulín, Mexico, to Ysidoro and Beatriz Perez. She passed away on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
The fourth of five children (a sibling died in infancy), she was raised in Sonora, Arizona, with her sister Lupe and brothers Joe and Ramón. Sonora was a tightly-knit community; a small mining town where everyone grew up as one big family. There was a book published about Ray, Sonora and Barcelona, Arizona, an interesting microcosm of our history/society.
After high school graduation, Carmen worked in LA and Phoenix then moved to Tucson where she attended the U of A. There she reencountered Joe Ruiz, another student from Sonora, Arizona; they married in June 1950.
Carmen and Joe moved back to Sonora where they purchased the Drug Store. They established themselves in the community until the mining company decided to expand the mining operation which meant moving the communities out. They moved to Mammoth where they opened the Mammoth Drug Store in 1957.
In the mid-60s, Carmen, a pioneer businesswoman, established the Corker Liquor Store. She did well and eventually built The Corker at its present site; when you see it on the north side of Mammoth off Highway 77 between Oracle and Winkelman, you might think of her.
Carmen operated The Corker for over 36 years. Many Mammoth residents stopped at the store after school or work. She was always involved in the community, and in her church, which made her known from Oracle to Kearny and every town in between. She was known to give you a lecture or to tease you about something, demonstrating her quick and sharp wit. She knew when you were naughty or nice and had an opinion about it. But everyone will tell you that “Mom,” as most came to call her, was always there if you needed a friend, or advice or just a hug.
She was diagnosed with dementia about the time she decided to sell the Corker, and so she retired just shy of her 80th birthday. She remained in Mammoth after selling the store, until a few years ago when she moved to an assisted living facility in Tucson. Even there she made friends who thought she was the sweetest person – laughing, singing or joking with the staff and residents.
Carmen left this world peacefully in her sleep last Wednesday morning, April 24. She is now with the Lord, probably offering advice there too. Or she might be organizing the Angels, assigning heavenly duties. Everyone remembers she was fun and funny. What she most valued in life were family, friends and the people that she met.
Carmen is survived by her sister Lupe Hendrickson, children Melani Pyland (Jim), Carla Ullom (Fred), Del, Efren, Roxie Sipe (Jeff), Erec (Joanne Clark); nine grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and an assorted lot of nephews, nieces, cousins and godchildren.
Services for Mrs. Perez were held on Saturday, April 27, at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Mammoth. Interment followed at Valley View Cemetery in Mammoth.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
July 17, 1921 – April 24, 2013