Obituary: Viola Venegas

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Viola Venegas unexpectedly passed on Thursday, July 7, 2022, she was 80 years old. She wasn’t an actual Winters native, but after living here for over 40 years she may as well have been. She was born the third of nine children on Aug. 15, 1941 to her parents Frank and Bertha Figueroa. She may have started her life in Oceanside Calif., majority of her life, her stories, and childhood was spent with their family in Yuma, Ariz. While in high school her family moved to Northern California. She would marry twice and divorce twice taking all she ever needed, her four children. She was a passionate woman, a pioneer of sorts, and a proud woman’s activist. So much so that she and a colleague would start a battered women and children shelter in San Jose called “La Luz.” She and her children moved to Winters in the early 80s — it is there she would become Mama Venegas to all those who knew her. She is survived by her eldest son Fred and only daughter Sylvia — alongside them are her grandsons Frederick, Anthony, Michael and, Steven and her granddaughter Gabbie of whom she loved very much. She was welcomed home by her parents, and all her siblings, and two sons David and Lewis. A Celebration of Life will be at 11 a.m. July 19 at St Anthony’s followed by reception at the Parish Hall.

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