Cover photo for Maria Teresa Golden's Obituary
Maria Teresa Golden Profile Photo
1929 Maria 2024

Maria Teresa Golden

May 14, 1929 — May 20, 2024

Imperial Beach, CA

Our beautiful mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt, left this life to be with the Lord on May 20, 2024. She was 95 years old. She loved God and she loved her family, which was her greatest joy. She was kind and gentle and always had a joyful heart. She was a friend to all.

Mom/NanaMom as she was known to her family, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and was living in Imperial Beach at the time of her death, where she had lived for the past 28 years. Before that she lived in El Cajon since 1972 after making her way there from Calexico.

She is survived by her children Joe, Marta, Olga, Raul, and their spouses; nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren; niece Patty & her family. She was preceded in death by her sister Sara Estela, her 
husband Warren, her daughter Rosemary, and her grandson Javier.

On the occasion of her 70th birthday, she presented each of her children and grandchildren with a summary of her life story up to that point. We think the excerpt below best sums up how she felt about her life.

"Well my dears, I like to think I have lived an interesting life. I've had good and hard times, but my Father in heaven has pulled me through all. He has been with me every step of the way. He has provided jobs for me to take care of my family and has given me good health. He has guided me through my sorrows and tribulations and every decision I have had to make in life. But most of all, He blessed me with a loving family."

We cherish this memory of her. The full story appears below for those who would like to know more about our Mother's life.

This is My Life Story

I was born in 1929 in cd. Juarez, Chihuahua on May 14. My parents (Angel Carlos Urrea Norton & Maria Teresa Morales Samaniego) named me Maria Teresa Magdalena. My nickname is Nena. I have one sister, Sara Estela who is two years older than me and whom I love very much.

When I was about 7 years old we started relocating to several border towns on account that my father worked for La Anuana (Customs). We lived in: Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and finally, Mexicali, B.Cfa. My father was promoted there and we didn't have to move anymore.

In those days the main means of transportation was the train. To me every time we moved it was an adventure to take the train, until I got to be 11 years old and I began hating leaving my friends behind. In between moves my father would send us to my maternal grandparents in Cd. Juarez, Papa Mariano and Abuelita Lilli, until he would find suitable living quarters and check for schools for my sister and me. That gave us a chance to go see all our cousins and childhood friends and of course our grandparents and aunts. I have very happy memories of my cousin Cuqui (Hector) and the train rides. Also there was a very special person in my life that I was very close to and Loved very much, my Tia Agustina (Llalla). She was the Indian lady my grandparents adopted when she was a baby and whose parents were killed by the yaqui indians. She raised all the babies in the family. She took me everywhere; to the market and to church. She stayed with my grandparents till they died. She went to live in El Paso, Tex. Till she died at 99 (at my tia Sara and tio Arturo's house).

I finished my schooling in Mexicali and got a student permit to live with my paternal grandmother Sara Norton and my Tío Jorge in Calexico. I went to school for 4 years to learn English at Our Lady of Guadalupe. I made many friends there. My uncle Jorge was manager of the Fox theatre in Calexico and I went to the movies everyday to hear the actors speak to help me learn English. There was no TV in those days. At the same time I baby sat my cousins Soco & Lichi, my tío Jorge's kids. When I finished school I got a permanent Visa through my uncle Jorge's sponsorship.

I started working at Woolworth's making $1.65 an hour and later got a better job at Acevez Firestone store as an office and sales clerk. 

When I was getting my permanent visa I met this guy at the American Consulate. Little did I know then that he was to become my husband four years later.

I moved back with my parents in Mexicali. By then I was 16 years old. I started going to dances and I joined a social club "Cyre." My sister's boyfriend Chuy taught me to dance when he used to call on her. I was their chaperone for 3 years, except when they would go to dances, then my mother would take my place. Chuy nicknamed me "cachora" (following lizard) but in a friendly way.

I had a very happy adolescence. My parents were very strict but they were the best, and so was my sister. I made friends for life through parties and meetings. To this date when I go to Mexicali to visit my sister, those friends get together and hold a party in my honor.

Also God was a very important factor in my life. That helped me to have good morals and live a clean life, even when I started having 'puppy loves.' I wasn't what you would call a "beauty” but I was very popular and had many friends.

Before going to work at Woolworth's, I worked at my uncle George's stationary store (Casa Urrea) after school and I saved my money so that I could go every summer to Cd. Juarez to visit Grandma & family and childhood friends. It was a happy time that I looked forward to every year (it took a lot to convince my father to let me go). They would put me on the train in Calexico and my aunt Sara & uncle Arturo would pick me up in El Paso, Tex. It was during the war (WWII) and there were a lot of soldiers on the train, but God kept me! In Juarez I got to go to a lot of parties and dances at the Agriculture college. They called the students "cebolleros” (onion pickers), but it was a school for engineers. I met a lot of nice boys there. Some were from Mexicali and we continued our friendship there. My father was super strict. I was not allowed to date but my mother convinced him that if they came to our house it would be ok, so he agreed and needless to say my girlfriends passed the word to all our friends and two or three times a week they all would gather at my house. In the summer we would sit on the lawn and play games, and since we lived on Avenida Reforma (the main avenue of the city), when our friends would go cruising they would stop and visit. We had a lot of clean fun. Everybody loved my mom. She would make punch and pastries for all. My father stayed inside!

I thank the Lord for giving me such good parents, strict but loving and understanding.

After some of the dances, if a boy liked me, he would bring serenades to me in my front lawn (I stayed inside of course). Around the year 1950, I was an ambassador representing our social club 'Cyre.' (All the clubs sent ambassadors to represent them) it was a big event in the Government Palace with all the military and important people attending, and there I met the guy from the American Consulate again. His name was Jose Meza and he asked me to dance. He was there with the Vice Consul, Mr. Griffith, representing the Consulate. After that he started slipping love notes under my front door on his way to work (he lived three blocks away). It went on for a while until one day my father found one of the notes and demanded to meet this fellow that was so interested in his daughter. By then my sister had been married for two years and he was afraid to lose me too.

In those days we used to go visit my grandma Sara and Tío Jorge and Tia Alicia in Calexico twice a week, and those were the days that Pepe could go see me. He was seven years older than me so he wasn't a part of my group of friends. My grandmother got to like him very much (they were both from Sinaloa) and she became his ally between him and my father. One day he confided to my grandma that he wanted to marry me but was afraid of my dad, so she arranged for a formal meeting with my dad. Pepe brought the Vice Consul to ask for my hand in marriage. It was nerve wrecking but very romantic and exciting, so finally my dad agreed and we were married on April 13, 1951 in Calexico. My aunt Refugio's husband and my Grandma Lilli came from Juarez to the wedding. Mr. Griffith was Pepe's best man. We lived in Mexicali one year. My daughter Rosa Maria was born in the Calexico hospital the same day that my Grandma Sara died of cancer in the same hospital. A few months later Pepe got his visa and we went to live in Calexico. On February 7th, 1953, our son Jose Angel (Che) was born. Two years later our daughter Marta Alícia was born, then about 1 1/2 years later our daughter Olga Irene was born. Five years later our last son Raul Armando was born. My mother died in 1962, one year after Raul was born and left a big void in my life.

By then Pepe had his own business in Mexicali and was doing real good. We bought a house where all our children grew up. The girls attended the same school, Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy, and the boys went to public school. My daughters friends were the daughters of my friends from Mexicali.

Twenty-one years later, in 1972, Pepe and I decided to end our marriage. I moved to El Cajon with my daughters Marta and Olga and my son Raul. Rosa and Che had left home by then. Rosa Maria had a baby, Javier (Harvey) and moved to San Diego. She died in 1973 in an accident and I adopted Harvey when he was 1 1/2 years old. He became my 6th child.

I found a job as a bilingual clerk at a store named 'Two Guys." I worked there for five years until it closed. I found another job at Rees Stealy Clinic as an interpreter and later I became a receptionist for three doctors in the same clinic because when the peso collapsed we lost most of our Mexican patients.

Olga got married in 1973 and Marta in 1977. I tried to better myself and after five years at Rees Stealy I got my license to be an underwriter to sell life insurance. I worked at that for two years and then went to work at Blue Cross for another two years. I missed the medical field so much that I went back and got a job at Trauma Medical as a receptionist and bilingual interpreter. Later I became a physical therapist. I worked there until they closed five years later. My son Joe came to live with us for a while after my daughter Rosa Maria died.

Around 1982 I met a wonderful man and we got married in 1984. His name was Warren Golden. My son Joe was the best man in our wedding. We lived in his mobile home at the Rancho valley mobile park in El Cajon. All my kids loved him and he loved them and all my grandkids. We lived very happy for 12 years until the Lord took him home. He wrote me beautiful poems that I treasure and we did a lot of traveling and camping in Utah, Arizona, Florida, and California. Harvey went with us most of the time. I lived there one more year after he died until I was so lonesome that my kids urged me to move to the South Bay. Before moving to Imperial Beach I worked with Dr. Omernick who was a chiropractor in El cajon until he got sick and closed his office. I was head of the therapy section. Then I got a job with the EL cajon school district in Santee as a bilingual instructor and teacher's assistant. I worked there for six years until I retired in 1996 and went to live next door to my daughter Marta in I.B. It was a great decision to make but again I prayed to God for guidance and it came to be a great move. All my grandkids lived nearby and some of my kids, except Raul who was in El Cajon and Harvey in Spring valley. They were both married then.

In 1997 I got the opportunity to work for a doctor in Coronado. I worked six months as a bookkeeper and six months as his assistant. I loved it but he got sick and closed his office (there I was retired again).

In 1998 I became a great grandmother. Isabel was her name and Harvey was the dad. I had the joy of taking care of her for two years until they moved to Nevada. It broke my heart but later the Lord came to my rescue and sent us Little Sarah & Kayla from Joe and Becky, but unfortunately only Sarah lived and she filled the emptiness I had in my arms and heart.

After living next door to my daughter Marta, I received a grant of rental assistance from the government and I moved to an apartment nearby. I found a friend from Calexico, Maria Avila, that had moved to Chula Vista. We play cards once a month with two other Ladies I met through her.

Well my dears, I like to think I have lived an interesting life. I've had good and hard times, but my father in heaven has pulled me through all. He has been with me every step of the way. He has provided jobs for me to take care of my family and has given me good health. He has guided me through my sorrows and tribulations and every decision I have had to make in life. But most of all, He blessed me with a loving family. 

God Bless you all! 

Maria Teresa Magdalena Urrea Meza Golden



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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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