Longtime Angeleno and onetime union organizer and avid dancer Morrie Sanchez passed away quietly Tuesday in Monrovia, California, her family has announced.
She was 97.
Born on June 25, 1917 in Jerome, Arizona to Victoria Balderamos and Angel Gonzalez, Morrie was from an old California family, whose roots in the state predate the Mexican Revolution and its becoming part of the United States.
Her grandfather, Zeferino Balderamos was born in San Luis Obispo in the early 1800s and her grandmother, Modesta Rodriguez was from Sonora, Mexico.
Morrie was a stalwart of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union from the 1950s to the 1990s, serving as both a union organizer and shop steward.
A long time community activist, Morrie worked diligently in many political campaigns, including the first election of former Los Angeles Councilman and Congressman Edward R. Roybal.
For many years, she volunteered with the City of Hope, among other local nonprofit groups.
Morrie did not let retirement slow her down a bit, one of her daughters remarked Wednesday. Instead she used her “free time” to support senior citizen causes and could often be seen dancing the afternoon away at one of the many local senior centers, such as the International Institute in Boyle Heights and Salazar Park in East Los Angeles.
In 1990, the International Institute named her their “Mother of the Year,” in a ceremony that included a crown and cape that were befitting her “grandeur,” her family fondly recalled Wednesday.
Before her death, she was the matriarch of six generations living in Southern California.
Morrie is survived by daughters Dolores Sanchez and husband Jonathan Sanchez (publishers of this newspaper), Rose Marie Barron, whose husband Efren has passed away, Carol Limon and husband Gilbert, and Sylvia Sanchez; 15 grandchildren, dozens of great- and great-great grandchildren, and one great-great-great grandchild.
The family has announced that burial services will be held next week at Calvary, starting with a wake and Rosary at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24 at Pierce Brothers Turner & Stevens Mortuary: 1136 E. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, Ca.
The Mass of Resurrection and internment will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 25 at Calvary Cemetery: 4201 Whittier Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90023.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the International Institute of Los Angeles-Senior Services in Boyle Heights:435 S. Boyle Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90033. (323) 264-6210.