On Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, the world lost an amazing woman. Surrounded by her family, Mildred Marie Valenzuela passed away at the age of 84 in the home of her daughter and son-in-law Cartina and Andy Ramirez. Mildred was born in Oklahoma on Nov. 8, 1933, the youngest of 10 children to Clara Leona Rainbolt and Joseph Penny Wood, later moving with her family to Sanger, California, when she was 8 years old. Known as Millie, Nana, Mom, Mountain Nana and Nani, she was a strong, loving and nurturing woman who touched hearts wherever she went. She married Phillip Valenzuela and traveled the world on his military deployments for 23 years, eventually settling at Rough and Ready Island in Stockton, California, where she managed the Navy Exchange for another 20 years. Retiring to Pollock Pines then later Mi-Wuk Village, she loved the Sierra most of all.
Millie is survived by her loving husband of almost 65 years, Phillip Ruiz Valenzuela; and their six children, Michele Wandersee, Michael Valenzuela, Phillip Valenzuela, Robert Valenzuela, Cartina Valenzuela-Ramirez and Monica Love; her eight grandchildren, Hava White, Daniel Wandersee, Rachel Gutierrez, Jacalin Sauceda, Felicia Sedillo, Katrina Sedillo, Alysse Macaluso and Raquel Cancilla; as well as 12 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by their various spouses who loved her very much.
A family viewing will be held from 1-3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, at PL Fry & Son 290 N. Union Rd. Manteca, California. Please join her family for a celebration of life immediately following at 15809 Independence Ave. Lathrop, California. She will be laid to rest at Sanger Cemetery with her parents and siblings. For her many mountain friends, another celebration of life will be held from 1-5 p.m., on Saturday, March 3, at the Tuolumne Veterans Memorial Hall, 18375 Fir Ave., Tuolumne, California. Though our hearts are broken, we would love for you to join us in celebrating this beautiful woman and in sharing how she may have touched your life.