Carmen Medina Ayala

January 24, 1924March 7, 2019

Carmen Medina Ayala

Carmen was born January 24, 1924 in Malakoff, Texas to Pedro and Carolina Flores Medina. At that time, her father and grandfather worked in the coal mines in Malakoff. Carmen attended school in Malakoff until racial tension in the town forced her father to take Carmen and her sisters to live with their aunt in Laredo. After Carmen completed fifth grade in Laredo, her father brought the girls back to Malakoff. Instead of returning to school, the girls learned to read and write in Spanish. Their teacher took them to church, the park, ball games and carnivals while their parents worked. When Carmen was around twelve years old, the coal mines in Malakoff closed and the family moved to Dallas in search of work.

When Carmen’s family first moved to Dallas, they lived for a while with a woman who worked at Luna’s Tortilla Factory. Then the whole family went to Michigan to pick crops. They stayed in Michigan for six months. Carmen’s father, Pedro, sent a portion of his earnings to a man who was building a house in West Dallas for the family. When they returned from Michigan, the house was built and ready for them. Carmen’s father started working at a cookie factory. Carmen and her sisters and cousins worked at the Baker Hotel folding linens making a dollar a day. They took several buses at three cents per fare to get to the hotel. Carmen’s parents then bought a house on Harwood St. that would make it easier for Pedro and the girls to get to work. Carmen’s grandfather, Eduardo, passed away about this time. However, Carmen’s life was not all work. Her parents took their daughters to the movies and often visited family and friends. Her father liked to dance and was a wrestling fan. Her mother crocheted and was a Guadalupana.

During the time that Carmen’s family was in Michigan, her friend Mary told her about her brothers. She met Mary’s brother, Richard Ayala, in Michigan for the first time. During World War II, Carmen and her sisters left their jobs at the hotel and started working at an egg factory. She saw Richard there for the second time. He didn’t like the women teasing the men about breaking too many eggs so he only worked that one day. The egg factory job only lasted about four months. Carmen and her sisters then started working at a sewing factory, Facho Children’s Garments. As was the custom in that time, the girls gave all their earnings to their parents.

Carmen’s family attended church in a house on Carolina St. To raise money, the priest would hold carnivals or fiestas. Carmen and her sisters would go to these carnivals and Carmen would see and talk to Richard there. She would also see him at the Mexican theater and at events at Reverchon Park. At that time, Richard was working for a welding company making good money and learning a trade. When he didn’t have to work late, Richard would go to Facho and see Carmen before she went home. Richard was born in Mexico so he wasn’t an American citizen, but he had a green card. He told Carmen that he had passed his physical to join the Army and was going to be stationed in Killeen. He wrote to her and called her and met her at the Majestic Theater whenever he came home. Before being shipped overseas, Richard had a three week leave. He asked Carmen to marry him. Several days later, they told Carmen’s parents that they were going to get married, that Richard would be overseas for a year and that Carmen would live with her new in-laws. They were married on September 27, 1945, and a week later, Richard shipped out. Carmen worked at Facho while Richard was overseas. She gave money to her mother, her mother-in-law and saved the rest. She often spent the weekends with her parents and sisters.

When Richard returned home, he and Carmen went to Mexico on a honeymoon and stayed at his grandmother’s house in Uruapan, Michoacan for a month. When they returned, Carmen helped take care of her mother-in-law, Juanita, who had taken ill and had been hospitalized. When her mother-in-law recovered, Carmen went back to work at Facho. Richard started taking paint and auto body work classes at night courtesy of the GI bill. He delivered furniture during the day. Carmen and Richard moved into a small house on Harwood St. next to Carmen’s parents’ house. Within a year, their first child, Juanita, was born, followed by Richard Jr. fourteen months later. By this time, Carmen’s older sister, Cirilda (Lila) had married and moved out of her parents’ home. When Carmen was pregnant with her third child, Mary, her parents moved out of their home and moved in with their youngest daughter, Virginia, and her husband, Luis. Carmen’s father, Pedro, suggested that Richard and Carmen buy their larger house and rent out the small house. Richard had worked at Chevrolet and was now working at Taylor Pontiac as an auto body man. Carmen and Richard bought and moved into her parents’ house. After Mary was born, Carmen went back to work at Facho.

Carmen and Richard’s family grew. Yolanda, Gilbert, Olivia, Carol, Victor, Carlos, Rebecca, Margaret and Josie were all born and grew up in the house on Harwood St. Carmen worked between pregnancies and her mom, Carolina, took care of the younger children. Carmen and Richard sent all of their children to St. Ann’s Catholic School and saw them graduate from the eighth grade and then graduate from high school. They belonged to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church which was located just a few blocks up Harwood St. Both Carmen’s and Richard’s parents were prominent in their lives. Because her mom took care of the children, Carmen’s dad and mom were frequent visitors at the house on Harwood. Richard would take the entire family to see his parents on Sundays. Everyone would pile into Richard’s station wagon and visit his parents, then go the lake so he could fish while the children played and Carmen prepared sandwiches. Outings to the Big D Drive-In were also common.

Carmen’s dad, Pedro Medina, suffered a stroke after a surgery at Parkland in 1963. One Friday, Carmen, her sisters and their mother, Carolina, were told they could not leave the building. They heard a commotion outside the window and could see all the cars, police cars and motorcycles below in the ER area. It was Friday, November 22, 1963. Later they learned that President Kennedy had been shot and died at Parkland. Her dad was never able to walk again but lived for almost another ten years to see his family growing and prospering. Pedro Medina died on June 16, 1973 on the way back from a trip to Mexico with his daughter, Lila, and her family. Carmen’s mother, Carolina, lived to see more great grandchildren added to her family. Carolina Flores Medina passed away on August 31, 1977. Carmen respected and loved her parents and missed them very much.

In 1975, Carmen and Richard opened Ayala’s Body Shop in the garage behind the house on Harwood St. Carmen helped her husband with whatever task she could. The shop kept them busy. In 1982, they sold their property on Harwood St. and moved to their home in Sunnyvale. Richard wanted to be close to the lake so he could fish and Carmen wanted to plant a garden. Richard loved pecans so he planted pecan trees in the back yard and a vegetable garden in the back lot. He also had a large garage where he would work on welding projects and repair anything that needed work. Carmen was usually at his side. Carmen planted flowers of all kinds in her garden and transplanted her rose bushes all around the fence. They brought a fig tree to Sunnyvale that Pedro had planted near the kitchen on Harwood St. Yolanda and Becky moved in with their parents. Richard and Carmen’s grandchildren loved to go see Welito and Welita and play in the large back yard. Their home became the center of many birthday celebrations, dinners and the annual visit from Santa Claus. At various times, their grandchildren lived with them. Carmen and Richard were charter members of Divine Mercy of Our Lord Catholic Church.

Richard had moved Ayala’s Body Shop to the Lake June Rd. location when they moved to Sunnyvale. When Dart expanded their routes, Ayala’s Body Shop was moved to its current location on Pemberton Hill. It was then run by Victor Ayala and Mark Pereyda with almost daily visits from Richard and Carmen. Richard’s parents also lived to see their family grow and prosper. Richard and Carmen had continued to visit his parents on Sunday mornings. Richard’s father, Rafael Ayala, Sr. died on July 16, 1988. His mother, Juanita Hernandez Ayala died on February 2, 1992. They were preceded in death by their son, Manuel, and daughters, Mary and Licha. Richard and Carmen celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a Mass and their children were their attendants. Ten years later, the family celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Richard and Carmen also felt the pain of losing a grandson, Richard Pereyda.

Carmen’s youngest sister, Virginia also passed away. By this time, Richard had been diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and had been treated with surgery and radiation. Many years later and after his lengthy illness, Carmen lost her husband of 64 years on October 3, 2009. During his illness, she never left his side. Without Richard, Carmen suffered the pain of losing her grandson, Charlie Ayala, her great-granddaughter, Samantha Nanez, her great-grandsons, Richard and Rafael Garcia and her sister, Lilia Castaneda.

On January 24, 2019, Carmen celebrated her 95th birthday. Her face was radiant and she smiled and laughed with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She enjoyed the mariachi music and the delicious food. She was so happy. Carmen fell ill in late February. After a short hospital stay, she came home with hospice care. Her children and grandchildren were with her day and night. Carmen entered her eternal life on Thursday, March 7, 2019, surrounded by her family. Carmen was a true example of a virtuous woman, hard-working, giving, kind, supportive and strong. A faith-filled woman, she prayed for her family every day. Her family will treasure their time with her and will forever cherish her memory. Carmen was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Richard H. Ayala, her parents, Pedro and Carolina Flores Medina, grandsons, Richard Pereyda and Charlie Ayala, great-granddaughter, Samantha Jocelyn Nanez, great-grandsons, Richard Eli Trevino Garcia and Rafael Esteban Trevino Garcia and sisters, Cirilda Castaneda and Virginia Herrera.

Survivors: Daughters, Juanita Cisneros, Mary Pereyda, Yolanda Ayala, Olivia Martinez, Carol Esquivel , Rebecca Ayala, Margaret Nanez and Josephine Alvarez. Sons, Richard Ayala, Gilbert Ayala, Victor Ayala and Carlos Ayala. 29 grandchildren, 74 great-grandchildren and 12 great, great-grandchildren, sisters and brothers-in-law and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Funeral: Mass 10:00 AM Thursday, March 14, at Calvary Hill Funeral Home-North Chapel, 3235 Lombardy Ln, Dallas 75220. Interment: Calvary Hill Cemetery Visitation: Wednesday, March 13, from 4 PM to 8 PM with Rosary at 7 at Calvary Hill Funeral Home Chapel.

Pallbearers: Ernest Ramirez, Edward Nanez Jr., Jacob Flores, Victor Ayala II, Victor Ayala III, Damian Martinez, Stephen Cisneros, Michael Cisneros, Marino Marcus Pereyda, Mark Marino Pereyda, Adrian Pereyda, Manuel Pereyda, Joel Pereyda, Christopher Pereyda, and Anthony Pereyda.


  • Visitation Wednesday, March 13, 2019
  • Rosary Service Wednesday, March 13, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, March 14, 2019
  • Committal Service Thursday, March 14, 2019

Carmen Medina Ayala

have a memory or condolence to add?

Priscilla Gonzales

March 19, 2019

My Mommy & Her Mommy! We love you ❤ you will be greatly missed Grandma!

Priscilla Gonzales

March 19, 2019

Priscilla Gonzales

March 19, 2019

Priscilla Gonzales

March 19, 2019

Priscilla Gonzales

March 19, 2019

Priscilla Gonzales

March 19, 2019

It's never easy losing a loved one but losing the woman who started it all there are no words to describe. I am honored to be called her granddaughter and proud to be a part of the legacy her and my grandpa created. Grandma is one of the strongest woman I know, she lived a beautiful, faithful, and blessed life. Thank you for loving your family like you did and for showing me what a warrior of prayer and faith can accomplish. You left your mark and imprint on this world and in the hearts of each one of us. Thanking our Holy Mother Mary, Her Divine Son Jesus Christ, and Our Heavenly Father for blessing us with your presence and sharing you with this world for a little over 95 years. I will be forever thankful to the woman who started our story. I love you Grandma, My Sweet Angel. I will forever cherish the memories. Rest In Peace with the love of your life. Give all our loved ones a hug and kiss for us and please tell my nephews Rafael & Richard that their Tia Prissy loves them❤

Valerie Ayala

March 16, 2019

Grandma, The Ayala home I love and know so well will be different with your absence. Thankfully you blessed us with many memories, family gatherings, and good food for the soul that will keep your legacy alive. I would get excited when I was little and hanging around the shop or sitting in the office and you and Grandpa would show up and you'd be filled with warm hugs and kisses. Telling me to make sure I take care of the shop and the guys. The glow in your face when you'd see my Mom walk in, she would always say you helped her become a great Mom and showed her the ropes. My Dad, Gilbert Ayala, is my most loyal and best friend because of you giving him life. I'm forever grateful and seeing the generations he now has blessed by you, it's amazing to watch them grow. I promise to always take care of my Daddy, with you now as his Angel above, I know he will always be surrounded by God's mercy and true love & protection. Rest peacefully Grandma, I miss you already, I will continue to pray to you every night. My true and merciful Queen, I love you. Forever In Our Hearts. #ayalafamilystrong

Your Granddaughter,
Valerie Ayala - Flores

christine meza

March 14, 2019

On Thursday March 7th we lost our mom, our grandma, our queen our prayer warrior our EVERYTHING! The memories of my grandma are endless. I was blessed to be able to live and grow up with my grandparents. I received an abundance of love as a kid and as an adult from my grandparents. I would make many trips with my grandparents to the shop or to run errands with them. To be honest I didn’t always like going to the shop it was either to hot, to cold or to dusty to be there. Grandpa wouldn’t let me stay home alone. my grandpa would take me and my grandma to eat at Wyatt’s to make up for the hours we spent at the shop. And the days he didn’t take us me and grandma would get mad...he had us spoiled. She was more upset than me because she had to go home and cook. My grandma always made sure I got ready for school and made sure I ate breakfast before school. She would wait with me for the bus to arrive and would be waiting for me to get home from school. When I had a daughter of my own grandpa and grandma were both there to help me take care of her and also helped raise her. I will forever be greatful for the grandmother God blessed me with. It’s because of her that a lot of us are the women we are today. She was a God fearing woman and a woman of faith. My faith in god is and will always be strong because of her! The day my grandma was admitted to the hospital I didn’t leave her side and even went back home to stay and be near. My grandparents house will never be the same without her there. my world will not be the same without any living grandparents but every time I drive into her driveway and look at all the beautiful flowers she planted and all the memories we shared at 537 Tripp Rd will keep her alive in my heart forever! RIP wuelita you would tell us you were ready to be reunited with your viejito SIEMPRE JUNTOS!! I love you!

Mary Eliza 30th Garcia Koftan

March 13, 2019

I remember Mrs. Ayala she worked with my mother Nellie Garcia at Fachos. I went to school with Richard Jr., but also remember Juanita and Mary.
It's hard to lose a parent. Our thoughts prayers go out to the Ayala family.
The Garcia -Koftan family

Minnie Valderas Castro

March 12, 2019

To the Ayala Family, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Mom. I have great memories that I will always treasure. I remember walking with my friend Yolanda from St. Ann's school to your house and saying 'hi' to all the girls. Yolanda and I would walk into the kitchen where your mom was always cooking. Mrs. Ayala was always very nice to me and she would offer me a snack. What great memories! My heart, my prayers, my thoughts goes out to all the family. Rest In Peace Mrs. Ayala.