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Draper Mortuary

OBITUARY

Maria Hernandez

June 30, 1928March 2, 2021
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Maria “Mary” Hernandez June 30, 1928 to March 2, 2021 Maria Hernandez, lovingly known as Mary, died peacefully at home of natural causes on March 2, 2021. She packed a lot of life in her 92 years. Mary wasn’t a world traveler – she had only been on a plane once – but she knew so many people and positively impacted so many lives, you would have thought she had planted her flag on all the continents of the globe. Mary came into the world on a bright Los Angeles summer’s day, June 30, 1928 – the same month Velveeta was first marketed. In her future life as a professional and passionate chef, she would never have used fake cheese. The daughter of Guadalupe and Sebastian Macias, Mary arrived into a household of three brothers – Manuel, Jess and John. Growing up right after the Depression, Mary – despite being the only daughter – wasn’t coddled. She helped her mother around the house and even assisted in the plucking of chickens for dinner. Because of this, as an adult, she refused to eat chicken or poultry of any kind. Mary was still a young girl when her father died; as her mother worked to take care of the family, Mary learned to cook – a “chore” she actually enjoyed. She developed a love for cooking and even created her own recipes for home economics classes in high school. Her creativity also drew her to photography, drawing, needle work, sewing and crocheting. In high school, Mary met and was courted by Julian Hernandez, a friend of her brother who was a few years older. The two became serious. When Julian entered the U.S. Army, he did not want to deploy to Europe without making Mary his wife. So, in April 1946, Mary, a senior in high school and two months shy of her 18th birthday, wed Julian Hernandez at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Los Angeles. Julian immediately left for Germany, and Mary graduated high school soon after. Two years later, they started their family, first with two sons, followed by three daughters – the last of whom was an unexpected but happy “accident.” The family moved to Ontario in the 1950s, where they stayed for many years. Mary took her passion of cooking and baking and turned it into her career. She was a butcher for Klapps Market, a part-time cake decorator for Eader’s Bakery and spent more than 25 years as the lead supervisor/cook for the dietary department of Ontario Community Hospital and later Doctors Hospital of Montclair, her last job before retirement. Mary was also known as the “Cake Lady.” She put her love of baking and the art of cake decorating into a home business, making cakes for the doctors at the hospital, friends, friends of friends and others. Word of mouth about the Cake Lady’s delicious confections and amazing work with icing reached far and wide. Her wedding cakes were sublime in taste and décor, and the birthday cakes drew smiles from the recipients. Perhaps her finest piece of work – a half-sheet birthday cake decorated with Michael Jackson wearing sunglasses, a sequined glove and his signature red jacket with epaulettes – all done freehand in buttercream. Mary was “Mom” to many of her children’s friends. She rarely raised her voice and loved to feed anyone who walked through her door. If you were thin when you joined the Hernandez family, that didn’t last long. She put up with all the escapades of her teen children with aplomb, and their adult ones too, and had the patience of Job, evidenced by her welcoming her youngest daughter’s seven cats. She even helped build a cat house out of 2x4s and chicken wire to isolate one of the cats who had come down with ringworm. Later in life, Mary enjoyed retirement by being with family and enjoying her many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. She loved Christmas time, when everyone visited and the family would make tamales using her mother’s recipe. Mary passed down that cooking tradition to family, including her Irish-German son-in-law, who she said made them almost as good as she did. As she got older and slowed down, Mary was cared for by her middle daughter, Marie. She enjoyed visiting her other children’s and grandchildren’s homes until she couldn’t comfortably go out anymore. She enjoyed a wealth of friends, and was especially close to her cousins Lupe, Virginia and Lola and her friends from her youth, Delia and Bea – who were like sisters to her. They preceded her in death, but she cherished the memories. Mary also was preceded in death by her former husband, Julian Hernandez; her son, Richard Hernandez; her granddaughter, Susan Moore; and her great-grandson, baby Gabriel Cota; as well as her parents and brothers. Mary is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Jess and Martha Hernandez of Fallbrook; daughter Margaret Meza of Chino; daughter Marie Hernandez of Upland; and daughter and son-in-law Renee Hernandez and William Diepenbrock of Rancho Cucamonga; grandchildren Jesse Hernandez; Tim and Derrick Hernandez; Larry, Julie and Charlie Meza; Joseph and Richard Salazar; and Julian and Claire Diepenbrock; 28 great-grandchildren; 21 great-great grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and godchildren. She also loved her daughter from another mother, Debbie Rodriguez. A private burial will be held in May. We will see you again, Mom.

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Friday, May 7, 2021

Memories

Maria Hernandez

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Lisa Salazar

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

Margaret Meza

April 12, 2021

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