Stella Martha Esquivel’s spiritual journey to heaven began on Dec. 29, 2013, reuniting with her parents, Antonio and Eleticia Perez; sister, Annie Perez and grandson, James Verdugo, along with many relatives and friends.
Stella, a Arizona native, was born on Feb. 21, 1933 in Dos Cabezas, Arizona. She was second of eight children and raised in several communities in the southeastern part of Arizona. Stella’s upbringing stems from a much simpler era as she once attended primary school in a one room school house and graduated from Benson High School, Benson, Arizona. Stella witnessed the transformation of this state of cattle, cotton and copper to the present. In 1958 she married Claudio Esquivel in Lordsburg, New Mexico and returned to Arizona to become one of the first residents in the mining community of San Manuel, Arizona.
Stella’s compassion in life revolved around family, friends and community. She was always happy to contribute to the local school bake sales, participate as a Asst. den mother for the Cub Scouts of America and was a regular supporter and donor for the American Red Cross. One of the many loves for Stella were children. She always exhibited great joy in the presence of children. Each year she would handcraft Easter baskets for her nephews, nieces and grandchildren. Stella also adored her beloved dogs, Cowie, Shadow and Keiko. Stella’s home was often the destination spot for summer vacations for her brothers, nephews, nieces and grandchildren which were always filled with picnics, walks to Mel’s Drive-In for ice cream or a hamburger or watching baseball at the park as well as a endless supply of watermelon, homemade peach cobbler and empanadas.
Stella was an avid storyteller, our favorites were always the ghost stories of old mining towns. Stella was most proud to be part of representing five living generations of the family with Eliza Pacheco, Eleticia Perez, Stella Esquivel, Connie Verdugo and Lisa Conterras.
Stella leaves behind husband of 55 years, Claudio Esquivel; daughter, Connie (Gilbert) Verdugo; sons, Anthony and Charles Esquivel; brothers, Tony (Mary) Perez, Ernie Perez, Richard (Pat) Perez and Robert (Peggy) Perez; sisters, Alice Rapp and Margie Bibus; grandchildren, Lisa (Ruben) Conterras, Joan (Frank) Valenzuela, Gilbert (Elizabeth) Verdugo, Samantha and James Esquivel; great-grandchildren, Angela Burciaga, Tony, Frankie and Liliana Valenzuela.
At the time of Stella’s departure she was surrounded by her loved ones and beloved dog Shadow.
Stella, your compassion, unconditional love and generosity resonates through the family. We are truly blessed and it will always be everlasting.
Services for Mrs. Esquivel were held Jan. 16, 2014 at St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson, Arizona. Interment followed at Dos Cabezas Cemetery, Dos Cabezas, Arizona.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the American Red Cross or any children’s charity.
Arrangements were made by Bring’s Broadway Chapel, bringfuneralhome.com.