Maria Elena (Sell) Paz, 69, of Sturgeon Bay, died Saturday May 9, 2020 at Meriter Hospital, Madison following a sudden battle with an ALS type illness.
She was born in San Antonio, Texas the daughter of the late Jose Mendez Lara and Helen (Diaz) Lara. Maria grew up in the migrant fields of America chasing regional harvest seasons with her family and friends. Her school and education were hoeing endless beet fields in the south to harvesting northern cherry and apple orchards in Wisconsin. Her youth and playtime were made with everyday items she would find along the way and clean up was in the lakes and rivers nearby. Her toughness was learned doing with less making a living with the strength in her hands.
Maria’s sheer determination gave her motivation to move her family back to Door County nearly 30 years ago because she remembered how beautiful it was here. It was not easy as she moved her family with little more than what she carried in her car, a car that would be home for her children and grandson for a time until she found work and could make a home here.
Maria was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Sturgeon Bay and Madison. She was employed for many years at Door County Fish Packing.
Maria was a strong determined woman who loved being a mom, wife, sister and grandma. She was fiercely loyal to her family and friends. An excellent cook, Maria could make what seemed like a feast even when there was not much in the kitchen, some going with less. She was sought out to cook for various families and celebrations around Door County.
Survivors include her children, Debra Lara of Madison and Dennis Lara of Sturgeon Bay; grandchildren, Daniel Lara, Brianna Dahms, Jared Burnett and Mckenzie Olson; great-grandchildren, Skylar Skippon, Hunter Busy, Logan Skippon; sisters, Corinne Dominguez, Yolanda Principe, Jennifer Ray; brothers, Jose Lara Jr., Jimmy Santiago, Robert Lara and many, many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents; son, David; brother, Richard; sisters, Sandra Lara, Antonia Lara, Angie Posos, and Isabella Lara.
Due to the current public gathering limitations, a memorial service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted with Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. and Door County Crematory LLC in Sturgeon Bay. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Maria may be shared with her family through her tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.
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