Mary Lou Portillo

December 11, 1946December 15, 2020

Mary Lou (Contreras) Portillo “Mama Lou” died peacefully with her husband, children and grandchildren by her side on December 15th, 2020 in Gilbert, Arizona at the age of 74. Mary Lou is preceded in death by her parents Felix “Apa” Contreras & Pilar “Ama” Silva Contreras, brothers David Contreras & Miguel Contreras. She is survived by her husband of 55 years Jose Antonio “Tony” Portillo Sr., her five Children, Miguel Antonio Portillo (Rose), Teresa Lugo (Michael), Jose “Pepito” Antonio Portillo Jr. (Lisa), Danny Portillo (Vanessa), Victoria Elizalde (Israel), 21 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Modesta Macias, and brothers Jose Contreras & Nick Contreras.

Mary Lou Portillo was born on December 11th, 1946 in Mesquite, New Mexico to Felix “Apa” Contreras & Pilar “Ama” Silva. She married Jose Antonio “Tony” Portillo, the love of her life in 1965. After moving to Phoenix, Mary Lou served as board member and parent volunteer for the Murphy school district for many years. She also worked as a Teacher’s Assistant and then changed careers to a Nanny for approximately 20 years. She continued to serve her community by volunteering at her grandchildren’s schools as well as supporting them in their extracurricular activities. Over 10 years, the couple welcomed five children into their home and Mary Lou set about teaching them to love and to serve God, their families, and the community. Her children remember her as a strong willed, faithful, loving, passionate, caring, giving mother who was always there to encourage them to pursue their goals.

Mary Lou was accomplished at many things including Arts & Crafts like sewing, crocheting, drawing, painting, creating decorations and designing outfits. She was a very generous and caring individual who loved giving of herself and who was passionate about helping others in their time of need. She was an active and dedicated member of the St. Matthews Catholic Church and often volunteered at many community locations.

The funeral will be a private service due to current pandemic restrictions. The family invites you to join via livestream at this link beginning with a Rosary at 9:30 AM on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021.


  • Rosary

    Saturday, January 2, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, January 2, 2021

  • Graveside

    Saturday, January 2, 2021


Mary Lou Portillo

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Teresa Portillo Lugo

January 1, 2021

So sad that this time has come to our lives when we have to physically let go of my mom. She has always been my rock, my foundation, in other words my everything. She taught me so much in life and I always had peace and security in my heart when I was with her. Mom gave me my Faith, she showed me how to be giving and of service to God and others and the grand respect I have for marriage. She taught me to work hard and honestly for everything that I have. She has always been so full of life and encouragement for all her family and friends and by everyone’s side when they needed her. I pray that my mom’s soul is in paradise with God and all our family. Forever I will miss you mom and may God give us strength to get through this pain in our hearts that we have because we love you so much. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

John Rodriguez Sr.

December 30, 2020

Cousin Tony and Family,
Our sincere condolences to you and your family. Thinking of you during this difficult time.

John and Irene Rodriguez Sr.

Letty Rodriguez Montano

December 29, 2020

You will forever be in my heart. You had a beautiful heart, so loving and genuine. May you rest in peace. I pray that God brings strength and peace to all of your hearts. I will miss you dearly. Love you all!

Mary Lou Juarez & Family

December 29, 2020

May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences.

Bill Rodriguez & Family

December 29, 2020

I hope that our Lord brings you and your family the much-needed peace during this sad time. My condolences to you and your family.

Sonia Lopez

December 28, 2020

I have so many memories of Mary Lou. I am so grateful for her. When I was in the hospital with pneumonia and my dad at another hospital with same thing. Mary Lou was there to comfort and be there for my mom. Every time Marylou and Tony would come to Tucson they would go to the Casino and then my mom and Mary Lou would go hit the stores. They are up in heaven now enjoying each other’s company again. Mary Lou give my mom and dad a big hug for me. I love you prima. To my cousins I send my most sincere condolences. If you need anything I am here. Love to you all. From Sonia, Pablo and Tatiana

Monica Contreras

December 26, 2020

My first time on a plane I flew to Seattle with Teresa n my Tia Mary Lou... Well we all know how she loves to play jokes . Well she got me good! (Remember 1st time on a plane) I was not paying attention reading or taking a nap. She's shaking me telling me Billy Billy se esta quemando el plane... ( translation The plane is burning! Well you can imaging my heart dropped in fear and started praying! N She's laughing her head off. Oh I miss you n love Tia n will forever have u in my heart ❤ and treasure our memories.