DOWNEY – Mary Louise Loya, 92, passed away Nov. 5 at her home in Downey.
She was born May 23, 1923 in Los Angeles to Amado and Constantina Flores but was raised in the copper mines of Morenci, Ariz. She was the fourth of five Flores children: Conrad, Nellie, Joe and Amado.
Sometime in the early 1950’s, Mary’s parents bought a house in the developing community of Downey. Mary became a Spanish teacher for the Montessori school, working with 3-4-year-old children. She later accepted a teacher’s aide position at Cerritos College in the Reading Center.
During her time at Cerritos College, Mary was an advocate for student affairs and the Latino community. She was elected to the Cerritos College Board of Trustees in 1991 and was re-elected in 1995 and 1999.
One of her most notable votes was in favor of construction of the Vintage Senior Living facility at the south end of campus. Her vote was unpopular among some other board members who preferred to build a practice golf facility instead.
After retiring from the Board of Trustees, Mary lived with her sister, Nellie, and their mother in Downey until their passing.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Anna, and her son, Robert, with his wife, Paula. Mary had four grandchildren: Paul and his wife Kasey, Eric and his wife Nicole, Gregory and his wife Jazmine, and Amanda. She also had a great-grandchild, Gregory and Jazmine’s son, Jethro Dean.