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Lucille Beserra Roybal, the mother of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, died peacefully her sleep Dec. 23, family members announced today. She was 95.
A viewing is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) from 3-8 p.m., with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m., at Calvary Mortuary Chapel and Cemetery in Los Angeles.
The funeral Mass and interment will take place 11 a.m. Friday at the same location. A reception will follow at Stevens Steakhouse in Commerce.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to the Roybal Foundation,5253 E. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90022-2020.
Roybal was born on Jan. 5, 1917 in Los Angeles to Manuel Albert Beserra and Prudenciana Moreno Beserra. She was the third child of four siblings and was raised in Boyle Heights.
Her father was a house painter and her mother a homemaker. Both of her parents instilled in their children the value of education and encouraged academic excellence, as well as the value of justice for all. Her ancestral lineage included Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo (4 July 1807- 18 January 1890) the noted Californio military commander, politician, and rancher.
Roybal was a graduate of Roosevelt High School. She married Congressman Edward R. Roybal in September, 1940. Edward and Lucille Roybal had three children: Lucille, Lillian and Edward, Jr. They were married 65 years, until his passing in 2005.
Roybal's community involvement included the co-founding of the Community Service Organization (CSO), serving as one of the first Latina registrar of voters in Los Angeles. In addition to being a political activist and integral leader within Mr. Roybal's Los Angeles City Council and Congressional campaign team, she lent her time, energy and leadership to various grassroots and community based causes throughout her life. This included being an outreach representative on behalf of the Well Baby Clinic, The Red Cross and other public health and charitable organizations.
In recognition of her contributions to the Boyle Heights community, the City of Los Angeles named the Lucille Beserra Roybal Family Source Center in her honor. In 1993 and 1996 the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and MANA (a national Latina advocacy organization) respectively honored Roybal with their highest award for her tireless dedication to the Latino community both in Los Angeles and nationwide.
"Roybal was a Latina pioneer, an icon, visionary and a true leader of service," the Roybal Foundation said in a statement. "Her passing will reverberate throughout the Chicano/Latino community, and her spirit and works will stay with us forever."