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Welcome to the memorial page for

Mrs Elaine Marie Cunha

September 24, 1930 ~ August 9, 2017 (age 86)

Elaine Marie Cunha, 86, of Firebaugh and Dos Palos, CA passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 at Bella Vista Memory Care Community in Fresno, CA. Elaine was born to Manuel Rosa Gularte and Maggie Silva Gularte in 1930 in Salinas, CA. She met and married Frank Joseph Cunha, Jr., formerly of Gustine, in 1948. The first year of their marriage they resided at the Cunha Dairy; then a couple of years at the Gularte Ranch, both of which are in the Salinas Valley. In 1952 Frank and Elaine, two babies and eleven cows, made the big move over the old Pacheco Pass to the San Joaquin Valley, where they started their own dairy business on Reynolds Road near Dos Palos, in Merced County. Their small dairy farm proved to be a lot of work for everyone in the growing family. They sold their dairy in the mid-1970s. In 1984 they moved to Firebaugh to enjoy their retirement as neighbors to several children and grandchildren. Along with much farm work and the raising of six lively children, Elaine enjoyed participating in various organizations, including Young Homemakers and Young Ladies Institute. She worked as a teacher’s aide for several years in the Dos Palos schools. Elaine loved the Lord and did volunteer work for many years in the office of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Firebaugh. Elaine loved to play cards with family and friends. Elaine’s greatest accomplishment was her family. She was a devoted wife all her life and raised six happy, industrious, and respectable children. She was a great wife and mother; her children are eternally grateful.

Elaine is preceded in death by her husband, Frank, her grandson, Rickey Elrod, and her sister, Lucille (“Lu”) Harbin.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at Cedarbrook and Bella Vista Memory Care Community for the good care they gave to Elaine in the last years of her life. We also thank the many family members and friends who helped and befriended Elaine in her later years, especially after the passing of Frank.

Elaine is survived by her siblings and spouses, Manuel and Laura Gularte, Rose and Don Dennis, Betty Gularte, Ed and Barbara Gularte, and sister-in-law Rosalie Cunha; her children and spouses, Frank and Cathie Cunha, Carol and Gilbert Coelho, Ron and Ruth Cunha, Diane and Rick Elrod, Judy and Scott Holwell, Cindy and James Jordan; 16 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Recitation of the Rosary will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Firebaugh, CA on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 at 10:30 a.m., with a Mass directly following at 11 a.m. Interment will be on the same day at Arbor Vitae Cemetery in Madera at 3 p.m.

Remembrances may be made to St Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1558 12th St., Firebaugh, CA 93622.


Charitable donations may be made to:

St. Joseph Catholic Church
1558 12th Street, Firebaugh CA 93622
Tel: 1-559-659-2225



 Service Information

Recitation of the Rosary
Wednesday
August 16, 2017

10:30 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
1558 12th Street
Firebaugh, CA 93622

Funeral Mass
Wednesday
August 16, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
1558 12th Street
Firebaugh, CA 93622

Graveside Service
Wednesday
August 16, 2017

3:00 PM
Arbor Vitae Cemetery
1301 Roberts Ave
Madera, CA 93637


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