Epifania “Fannie” Lerma, née Mireles, passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2018, in Riverbank, CA. She has joined her husband, Juan (John), and their three sons, Johnnie, Lico, and Frankie, into the Lord’s welcoming embrace. She was 88.
Fannie was born on January 12, 1930, in Coleman, Texas to Pedro and Estefana Mireles. She lived her youth in Texas and moved with her family to Watsonville, CA, during her early 20s. She and her husband Juan raised their three children, Johnnie, Lico, and Lorina, in Watsonville, CA. Their son Frankie died during infancy. Juan and Fannie lived in Watsonville until her husband’s retirement, eventually moving to Hollister for the warm weather.
In her younger years, Fannie worked in the canning industry and as a teacher in the migrant program for children, the latter of which she enjoyed immensely. She was quiet but very quick witted with a mischievous sense of humor. After her husband’s retirement, she and her husband became very active in their church, The Gilroy Apostolic Church. The members became her second family and she enjoyed the love and companionship they bestowed upon her. She was at her most content while in church and singing church hymns with her husband. She also enjoyed an extremely close relationship with her daughter, Lorina, and her grandchildren. They were the light in each other’s lives.
Fannie is survived by her daughter, Lorina Lara (Bob) of Riverbank, CA; grandsons Ernie Lara, Bobby Lara (Melinda), Johnny Lerma, and Eric Lerma; granddaughters Trinidad Lerma Fleck (Jacob) and Reina Lara (Nicholas); eleven great-grandchildren and one great-grandson. She is also survived by sisters Eva Perez (Gabriel +), Mary Aguirre (Jack), Lily Dhabolt (Ron +), Dolores Gutierrez (Tony), Margie Evangelista (Ignacio); brothers Peter Mireles (Carrie), Arnold Mireles (Pearl), Henry Mireles (Elvia +), Jesse Mireles (Alice), Frank Mireles (Debbie), Mingo Mireles, and Tommy Mireles.
She was preceded in death by her husband Juan; sons Johnnie (Kathie +), Lico, and Frankie; brother Valentin “Bobby” Mireles (Sylvia) and sister Emily Cruz (Manuel +). She was also preceded in death by her parents Pedro and Estefana Mireles.
Services will be held at Mehl’s Colonial Chapel on Friday, March 2, 2018, with visitation from 10:00 am to 11:00 and funeral services to begin at 11:00 am. The graveside service will be held at Valley Public Cemetery. Reception to follow at the Gilroy Apostolic Church, 8601 Church St, Gilroy, CA.