Caroline C. Perez
November 19, 1920-January 1, 2018
Caroline C. Perez of Kingsburg, CA, passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on January 1, 2018. Caroline was born in Colton, California on November 19, 1920. The youngest of six children, Caroline, or Nina as she was known, completed the family of Porfirio and Felipa T. Chavez. From an early age, Caroline exemplified the virtues of a strong leader. Even though she was the youngest of six, Caroline always took care of her two big brothers, Jimmy and Harry, and her three big sisters, Ruth, Hope, and Pearl. Caroline met the love of her life, Joseph J. Perez in Hanford, California, where her family had relocated, and she and Joe were married on February 19, 1939. Soon after, Caroline and Joe started their own family welcoming into the world Barbara, Joseph Jr., James, Elizabeth, and Steven. The Perez family was complete and ready to make their mark on Kingsburg.
Caroline especially loved her role as wife and mother, but she also enjoyed her role in the workplace. She spent many years as a seasonal worker in the Del Monte cannery, but her most cherished job was working as a teacher's assistant in the Kingsburg Elementary School District at Lincoln Elementary School for over 20 years. Although Caroline was not able to complete her education as a student, the importance of education was at the forefront of her life. She always encouraged and supported her children, her students, and later her grandchildren and great grandchildren to reach for the stars, to not let anything or anyone stand in their way, and to never settle for second best.
In her early years of retirement, Caroline and Joe loved to travel the country to visit friends and family. One of their favorite stops along the way was to the Casino, a hobby Caroline stayed true to up until the very end. An avid sports fan, Caroline loved to cheer for any team representing the school or sport of her beloved children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. If her family went to school there, then that team was the best. On any given game day she was a Tree, Bulldog, Kangaroo, Eagle, Bronco, Aztec, Bearcat, Lion, Buckeye, Bruin, Tiger, Bear, Pioneer, or a Cougar. She loved sports, but what she looked forward to the most was calling her family to share her take on each game she watched. She loved to receive her weekly calls from family and friends, but nothing compared to holidays, birthdays, and the annual 4th of July Perez Family Reunions where all her babies would be under one roof again. Anyone who visited the Perez house was family, and everyone knew when you walked through the door you would be greeted with a hug and something warm to eat. Caroline's family prided themselves on the fact that their mother, grandmother, and great grandmother was the world's best cook. Her chili steak, homemade tortillas, and delicious tamales were the cornerstones of Perez family meals.
As a mother figure to everyone she encountered, we were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Nina in her 97 years, among them, most importantly - to hold faith and family above all else, to love beyond measure, and to never give up. With a spirit and tenacity unlike any other, Caroline was an example of strength and wisdom to all who knew her. Each person is blessed with the gift of time on this earth - to live, to learn, to love, and to leave a legacy. Caroline's legacy will live on forever in the people she loved and stories she shared.
Caroline was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years Joseph J. Perez, her son James B. Perez, her granddaughter Verania A. White, her parents and five siblings.
She is survived by her children: daughter Barbara and husband Dr. John White, son Joseph J. Jr and wife Rosemary Perez, daughter Elizabeth and husband Harmon Johnson, son Steve Perez; grandchildren: Timothy Perez and wife Amy, Terri Carpowich and husband Skip, Dr. Marina J. White Nagy and husband Dr. Stephen Nagy, Chris Perez and wife Michele, Jennifer Perez, Jessica Perez, Jonathan Perez; great grandchildren: Alyssa Eberle and husband Josh, Connor Perez, Matthew Carpowich, Brian Carpowich, Samantha Carpowich, Phoebe Nagy, Mia Nagy, Alena Nagy and Ella Caroline Perez.
The family wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the kindness and compassion shown to Caroline by her friends, neighbors, doctors, nurses, and all health care providers she encountered over the years. Caroline had a strong faith, and her family finds a special comfort in knowing that their Nina took her last breath on New Year's Day, the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God; “Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you”.
A Viewing and Rosary will be held on Wednesday, January 10th, at Creighton Memorial Chapel located at 1588 Lincoln Street, Kingsburg, CA. The viewing will be held from 2:00pm to 6:00pm, and the Rosary will begin at 6:00pm.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, January 11th, at 10:00am at Holy Family Catholic Church located at 1275 Smith Street, Kingsburg, CA. Interment immediately following at the Kingsburg Cemetery