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Melida Luz Paz Herrera de Magaña

September 20, 1931 ~ April 20, 2018 (age 86)
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Melida Luz Paz Herrera de Magaña was a true light in our lives.  Surrounded by family, she passed peacefully on Friday, April 20th at the age of 86 at the Sonoma Valley Hospital.

“Meli” was born in El Salvador to Alberto Paz and Maria Herrera.  She often reminisced about her childhood where she and her twin sister, Mency, would run around the family farm, ride horses, and enjoy the bounty of their backyard.

She moved to the city and married the love of her life, Ricardo Magaña, with whom she ran the popular Gymnasio Magaña.  They enjoyed their work and being together; sharing stories, dancing, and listening to Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

Meli moved to Sonoma 14 years ago to live near her only daughter, Junny Gonzalez, and her granddaughters, Maria Gonzalez Reilly (Peter Reilly) and Helena Gonzalez (Tony Unti).  She loved being close to her family and being present for every milestone in their lives, especially those of Mia and Grace Reilly, her great-granddaughters.

Despite her limited English, Meli left a loving imprint on all those she touched. Her smile was contagious, her jokes were the hit of the party, and her dance moves brought everyone out on the floor.

She loved giving advice, ranging from beauty tips to conserving resources.  Her carbon footprint was tiny, but her personality was larger than life.

We miss her dearly and will cherish her in our hearts forever; we “love you love you” Mama Meli.

We will celebrate Melida’s life at 11am on Friday, May 18th at St. Francis Solano Church (469 3rd St W, Sonoma, CA 95476), followed by a reception at the home of Junny Gonzalez.

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