March 10, 2013 — March 24, 2013
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, April 4, for Mike Perez of Firebaugh, who died peacefully on Sunday, March 24, surrounded by his family.
Mr. Perez, 91, was born in Santa Barbara to Juan and Maria Perez. He graduated from Patterson High School and then served with the U.S Navy as a Fireman 1st Class (1942-1944) aboard a minesweeper in the Pacific Ocean Theater in World War II. After his discharge from the Navy he moved to Crows Landing to begin the farming operation with his father, Juan, and three brothers Daniel (deceased), Tom and Earl. Mr. Perez was a vanguard in expanding the business to the Firebaugh area, as well as an entrepreneur in diversifying and growing new crops.
The Perez Brothers were inductees into the Stanislaus County Agriculture Hall of Fame. Mr. Perez’s propensity for leadership continued as the president and director of the Broadview Water District, as well as the director of the following organizations: Broadview Co-op Gin, Cal-Cot Ltd, Land Preservation Assn., San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Assn., Silver Creek Drainage Assn., Valley Seed Growers and Bean Dept. He also held office at Cal-West Seeds.
While running his business and raising a family, Mr. Perez found time to pursue other interests. He had a passion for golf and sports. He could be seen on the football and rugby fields cheering on his sons. Mr. Perez supported both grandchildren in all of their extracurricular activities. A staunch supporter of the Fresno State Bulldogs he attended numerous Rose Bowl games in Southern California. Mr. Perez enjoyed hunting, particularly the traditional dove hunt with his hunting buddies and nephews. He and his late wife Ann belonged to the dance club and enjoyed the camaraderie of many wonderful friends.
Mr. Perez especially appreciated the loyalty and devotion of his secretary, Cathy Helm, personal friend, Francisco Abel Vasquez, and brother-in-law Paul Tamo. The family is most grateful for the compassionate care given by his care providers: Gloria Moya, Esmeralda Murillo, Maria Yanez, Maria Davila, Lilia Luna, Gloria Cobian, Josie Ortiz, Librada Hernandez, Arcelia Vargas, and Yvonne Herrera.
The family said they would all miss his boundless enthusiasm, sharp intellect, and spirit of adventure, dedication to family, and his ability to listen and engage everyone. Mr. Perez valued personal honor, social responsibility and the bonds of love and family. For him, life was not about the destination but the journey.
Mr. Preez is survived by his two sons, Michael J. Perez (Monica Iribe and children Grecia, Georgina and Carmen), and Dr. Marvin Perez (Mary Beth), grandchildren Kathryn Yoshida (Brandon), Jordan Perez, and great granddaughter, Kira Perez. He is also survived by his two brothers, Tom Perez and Earl Perez and his wife, Eleanor; brothers-in-law Paul Tamo, Eugene Tamo and his wife, Carol, and David Tamo and his wife, Bea, as well as many nieces and nephews. His beloved wife, Ann, his parents, Juan and Maria, his sisters, Amelia Tabor and Mary Dompe and his brother, Daniel Perez, preceded him in death.
Family and friends are welcome to the visitation at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Firebaugh at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday April 4, 2013. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be at 10 a.m. followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m.
A Graveside Service and Burial will be at Hills Ferry Cemetery in Newman at 10 a.m. on Friday April 5. Memorial contributions in Mr. Perez’s name may be sent to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Firebaugh.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.jaychapel.com