Maria Ana Bocanegra Gonzalez, a loving mother, wife and grandmother was born in San Antonio, Texas, on April 7, 1923, to Isodoro and Teodosa Escamilla Bocanegra. At the age of 5, she moved to Nava Coahuila, Mexico, where she spent her formative years. In 1943, she moved to Eagle Pass, Texas where she worked at Kifuri St. Cannery and met Raymundo V. Gonzalez, whom she married in 1954. Soon after her marriage, she moved to the Walla Walla area where she raised her two daughters, Norma Gonzalez Daniels and Sandra Gonzalez Graham.
Maria Ana valued education and was disappointed as a child not to have the opportunity to go beyond the sixth grade. When she returned to the United States, she enrolled in a course called "Corte y Confecion" and became a seamstress. In 1967, she enrolled at Walla Walla Community College and completed her adult basic education.
Maria Ana was no stranger to hard work. She traveled the U.S. doing a variety of migrant labor. While living in Walla Walla, she maintained supervisory positions in local businesses such as Martin Archery and the College Laundry. Between 1979-1997, Maria Ana became self-employed and cleaned homes.
Maria Ana had a passion for her church family and for philanthropy. Maria and her husband became members of Stateline Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1965. She was very active in fundraising events that resulted in the formation of Walla Walla Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church. A dream was fulfilled when she was able to donate her inherited property in Nava Coahuila, Mexico, to the local Seventh-day Adventist Conference. A church was built at the location and filled quickly with members.
Maria was 75 years old before she became a grandmother. She had plenty of energy and vigor in order to dote after her grandchildren Federico Rafael Graham and Angelica Maria Graham.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Isidoro Bocanegra, Teodosa Escamilla and an infant daughter, Anita Chavez. She is also preceded in death by her siblings Selsita Rodriguez, Encarnacion Bocanegra, Jose Maria Bocanegra, Juanita Bocanegra, Trinidad Espinoza. She is survived by her sister, Josefina Hernandez, and 22 nieces and nephews.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 18, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla. The funeral service will be held Thursday, May 19, at 1 p.m. also at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home with Pastor Kessle Hodgson officiating. Interment will follow at Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice through the funeral home.