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Bautista, Maria Lucia

María Lucía Bautista also known as “Luz”or “Doña Mari” by family and friends lived a long life full of resilience and perseverance. Born on December 13, 1944 to Santiago and Ascension Santos, she was the second daughter in what would become a family of 11. Growing up in Mexico in the ‘40s, taught Maria how to be strong and resourceful, but also caused her to yearn for a better life.

In her early 20s, she moved to McAllen, Texas on a work visa. She worked various factory jobs until she heard about a strong Mexican community building in the Midwest.  She and her sister chose to move to Milwaukee, WI where they found work in a canning factory. Maria was a social and outgoing person making lots of friends with her funny and joyful personality. Working in a garment factory near the domes and living in an apartment building near that neighborhood she would come to meet her partner of 47 years.

Together they would move into the home most of us remember on 11th street. They would welcome their pride and joy Javier, and then first daughter Rosa María almost a year later. Even after their third child Maria de Jesus, the couple was still outgoing and had many friends. Eventually Norma and Laura would be born rounding out the children that Maria prioritized over everything else.

Maria loved listening to music and bird watching. She enjoyed gardening and loved flowers. She cherished the time she spent drinking coffee and eating conchas chatting with friends, and family alike. As a mother, Maria strived to give her children the life she didn't have.  Even when times were difficult and money was tight she made sure her children were clothed, fed and had their mother when they needed her. The home she created became a focal point for so many holidays and parties. Her home cooking became a source of comfort for many including her children's friends.

As her kids grew older she lovingly welcomed many grandchildren and eventually great grandchildren. Just as she did with her own children she tried to give them as much as she could. As time went on her family was always her focus and source of joy.

After years of living in Milwaukee she chose to embark on a new adventure and move to Oklahoma to be near her daughters and grandchildren. She enjoyed being near her family and still called and spoke to her siblings as much as possible. Unfortunately Maria suffered a fracture then multiple ailments that affected her health. Maria entered eternal rest on the night of Wednesday January 4th 2023, surrounded by the family she loved so much.

She was a loving mother, to Javier, Rosa María (Rene), María de Jesús (Martín), Norma, Laura (Grant), grandmother to Jesse, María Guadalupe, María Lucía, Vanessa (Alex), Rosamaria, Reymundo, Karina, Alexis, Daemon, Julio César, Rubi, Nalani, Adriana and great-grandmother to Yadiel Alexis, Raul Joaquin and Melvin Alonzo. She was the head of her family and though she will be greatly missed she will never be forgotten. Maria is further survived by her brother, sisters and other relatives and friends.

Visitation at Witkowiak Funeral Home (529 W. Historic Mitchell St. Milwaukee WI 53204) on Friday January 13th Starting at 9:30 AM. Service Starting at 10:30 AM, Followed by Procession to Good Hope Cemetery (4141 S. 43rd St. Greenfield WI) For Committal Services.
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