March 2, 1920 — Sept. 29, 2012
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, Oct. 4, for Daniel Perez of Westley who died peacefully at his home on Saturday, Sept. 29, surrounded by his family and under a harvest moon.
Mr. Perez was born March 2, 1920 in Goleta to Juan and Maria Perez. They moved to the W.W. Cox Ranch in Westley in the 1930s to work alongside the Cox family. Later, Mr. Perez and his brothers developed their own farming operation. His son, Danny, and his grandson, Stephen, continue the family farming tradition.
During World War II, Mr. Perez served as an aircraft mechanic and line chief with the 12th Air Force, 27th fighter-bomber group, in North Africa and Italy. He retired as a Master Sergeant.
He married Mary Louise Figueiredo on Jan. 18, 1947. Together they built a successful marriage of 51 years, based on hard work and dedication to family values. Except for the time he spent in military service, Mr. Perez lived in the same home since 1936. Known by all as a man of honor, humility and great love for his family and community, Mr. Perez lived life to its fullest.
Mr. Perez el was a successful farmer. From an early age, he worked fields of lima beans, tomatoes, and numerous other crops. His knowledge of plants and growing conditions made him the “go-to guy”, meeting any challenge. Rising early was a daily event: checking the crops, making sure all the equipment ran at capacity, and working alongside the field hands to complete whatever tasks the day demanded.
He was a member of the Patterson Lions Club for 63 years, the Westley Fire Department and the West Stanislaus Bean Advisory Board. Mr. Perez was an FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer, participated on the Federal District Court Grand Jury and was responsible for the completion of the fence project at the original Patterson Community Stadium. He loved the outdoors and brought home many trophies from his hunting trips to Idaho and Wyoming. His love of athletics spanned his playing with the Tracy Caballeros to attending high school, college and professional games. He enjoyed hands of Pedro, poker, or gin rummy whenever anyone was ready for a challenge. Mr. Perez was proud of his Spanish heritage and, among many other travels, took his family to his ancestral home in the Pyrenees.
Over the years, Mr. Perez delighted in his growing family and welcomed them to his home as the center of many activities that fostered an inseparable bond for all. He treated everyone with a gracious, kind respect that endeared him to many. His smile and quick wit will be truly missed. Mr. Perez is survived by his sons John A. Perez and Daniel J. Perez, and his daughter, Mary Lisa Kuhn, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and his brothers, Thomas, Mike and Earl Perez. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary, and his daughter, Theresa Lara, his sisters, Mary Dompe, and Amelia Tabar.
Visitation and the Vigil Service were observed Wednesday, Oct. 3. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct.4, at Sacred Heart Church, 529 I St., in Patterson. Burial will follow at Patterson District Cemetery, 10800 Highway 33, Patterson.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Perez’s name may be sent to Father Connors Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 1174, Patterson, CA 95363; Patterson Lions Club (Theresa Lara Memorial Scholarship), P.O. Box 452, Patterson, CA 95363 or the Central Catholic High School Foundation (Theresa Lara Memorial Scholarship), 200 S.Carpenter Road, Modesto, CA 95351.