Carmen Maria Diaz passed away with the love of her life Raul and baby girl Tiffany holding her hand while praying with all her family via zoom at St. Agnes hospital. She was born in Fresno, California but would raise her family in Madera, California. She was a beloved member of the community.
Carmen is proceeded in death by her grandmother Carmen Osuna, parents Albert & Lupe (Duran) Robles, and brothers Steve Morales and Jesse Robles. Carmen is survived by her husband of 41 years Raul Diaz, her four children Stephanie and husband Steven Urena of Madera, Raul A. and wife Trish Diaz of Madera, Nicole and her husband Eddie Espinoza of Clovis, and Tiffany Diaz of Madison, Wisconsin. Carmen is also survived by her eight grandchildren Raul Diaz Jr., Mason Espinoza, Dominik Espinoza, Roman Urena, Urijah Espinoza, Carter Urena, Jacinda Jefferson, and Jarron Jefferson. She is survived by her last sibling sister Gina Lopez of Fresno, California.
Carmen Maria Diaz was born on April 17th, 1959 to Albert Robles and Lupe Duran of Fresno California. She was raised in Fresno with her 3 other siblings all the while excelling in her studies and developing a love for music. Carmen was a high-ranking Girl Scout and had her father attending every function and trip all the way until she was 18 years old. They even took a horse backpacking trip thru the Colorado mountains. She also was an accomplished pianist while being involved with choir throughout her school years. She started working at her cousin’s restaurant Los Charitos at the age of 13, where she was washing dishes, cleaning tables, and then finally moved up to serving customers by age 15. She attended Hoover high school and fell in love with science, math, and biology. She was in all honors classes throughout her high school years. Carmen while being a highly determined student also found time to have fun with her many friends. She was adamant to have her very own car by driving age, so she started working at Javier’s restaurant and continued throughout her high school years. She was able to buy her pride and joy a 1968 light blue Pontiac Firebird. She loved riding around town with her friends and especially cruising down Belmont. Carmen graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA and was on her way to Fresno City College to start her journey working towards her career as a medical transcriber.
In the summer of 1977, she met a young boy by the name of Raul Diaz. They had seen each other one Saturday night & after cruising the night away they stopped and planned to meet the following weekend. As fate would have it, they found each other & pulled over to talk. It was from that moment their lives would truly begin. They talked that first night for almost 3 hours which took place just standing outside their cars. They both have stated it was instant chemistry & love at first site. Raul has said he knew from that moment, Carmen would be the women he was going to marry & spend the rest of his life with. Carmen began working for the internal revenue service in the spring of 1979 and quickly moved into management as a tax examiner, she worked for the IRS for the next 27 years. On Dec 8th, 1979 Raul & Carmen said I Do in Reno, Nevada. They would begin a family instantly. They had their first daughter Stephanie on August 4th, 1980, then a son Raul on July 22nd, 1981 (yes 11 months later) and lastly another daughter Nicole on March 30,1984. All three kids kept them extremely busy with dance lessons, singing lessons, pageants, baseball, softball, soccer, karate, & wrestling. There were many family vacations to various places such as Disney Land, Great America, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Monterey bay aquarium, not to mention out of state adventures like Nevada & Arizona.
In the spring of 1994, Stephanie was graduating Junior High, Raul was moving on to the 8th grade, & Nikki was moving on to the 5th grade, you could say all the Diaz kids were self-sufficient. Raul & Carmen thought their baby days were behind them, but God had other plans, 10 years after their last child would be a great time to add a new addition to the Diaz family. On May 15th, 1994, their last & final child Tiffany was born. She definitely brought a different spin on life for their 3 kids. Everyone had been used to being ready on a moment’s notice, traveling freely, and having a relatively quiet house. They had no idea what a baby would add to their lives such as constant crying, baby toys everywhere, little hands grabbing their favorite items, and traveling now required an extra 3-4 bags for this little person. Raul and Carmen had to get themselves back into the groove of baby life. It was a change but hands down the best addition to their family. In the summer of 1995, Raul and Carmen had a custom home built in Madera on 2 acres so they could raise their family in the quiet of the country… In their kids words however it was “no mans” land. They were city kids & had no idea what it was like to live so far out in the sticks where you had to pack a lunch when you wanted to go into town. They settled into this new country life & would continue to make even more memories.
As the years passed, they saw their kids stay committed to school while being involved in various sports, musical organizations, and leadership programs. In the summer of 2000, Raul and Carmen would become grandpa & grandma having their 1st grandchild Raul Jr (Wolfie) given to them by their son. He was the apple of their eye & spoiled rotten. To Grandma Raul Jr was so precious that would become his nickname. At this time Tiffany began her adventure with recreational softball & soccer but soon realized she had a passion for them. Raul and Carmen began their 20-year commitment to the travel & competitive circle of softball and soccer. They traveled everywhere with Tiffany being involved as parents, managers, coaches, and even board members within the softball & soccer organizations. This truly kept them going and gave them some of the greatest memories. The number of young girls lives that were forever changed by my parents is too great to count but they gave everything they had to make sure each girl who was involved with them felt the love & support to know they were special.
While doing all this they would go on to see their children Stephanie, Raul, & Nicole get married. They would welcome 3 boys Mason (Lubby), Dominik (Lub), & Urijah (Turtle Boo) from Nicole & her husband Eddie. While adding 2 boys Roman (Silly Goose) & Carter (Snuggle Bee) from Stephanie & her husband Steven. Their son Raul added a stepdaughter Jacinda & Stepson Jarron from his wife Trish along with 1st son Raul Jr.
As the years continued, they would send their baby girl off to UC Santa Barbara and began the fulfilling adventure of grandparent life as Tata & Meema. They would go out to see Raul Jr wrestle, play baseball, soccer, and even attend his many band concerts. They stayed equally involved with Mason, Dominik, & Urijah while they excelled in baseball, soccer, football, wrestling, track and jiu jitsu.
Raul and Carmen loved to see their grandchildren have the same determination they once saw in their own children. Carmen once told her daughter Stephanie that it was like coming full circle in life.
During the last 8 years Raul and Carmen began down a road never traveled in their family before… the Autism road. Their grandson Roman was diagnosed at age 3 & so began the journey. This new life was overwhelming, but Raul and Carmen delved right in and began to get educated as to what it meant to have a special needs grandchild. They began helping during the weekdays with in-home therapy & even on weekends. Carmen would even go over to Steven & Stephanie’s house just to hang out with her youngest grandchild Carter, so he did not feel left out because his big brother Roman had all these people coming to see him daily. This is where Meema & Carter would develop the strongest relationship between a grandparent & grandchild. To Carter his Meema was the Sun, Moon, & the Stars and he loved her with his whole heart. It was a bond that gave her the strength & determination to fight thru her body pains from various ailments on her gloomiest days. Carmen was involved in St. Joachim’s YLI group with her daughter Stephanie Urena.
During the Holiday season of 2020 Carmen was at her happiest. No one knew what was to come in 2021 but The Diaz family spent the most time together during this past season & made so many memories. Raul said Carmen absolutely loved having the house filled with her kids & grandchildren. She loved all the laughter, screaming, running, slamming doors, and even the mud tracked throughout the house. It made her feel fully blessed and grateful for all the love she had around her. Carmen undoubtingly left her mark on this world and left her loved ones with a giant void that she would fill with her love or as her grandchildren would call “Happy Hearts”. Her family knows she is at peace and in no more pain which will help them go on without her in their presence, however they know she is watching over them from heaven & has the best seat in the house to continue to support & cheer on her grandchildren in whatever they choose to embark upon. They will miss her, but will keep her memory alive through stories, laughter, love, strength, faith, and their family bond but most importantly with “Happy Hearts”.
A Message to Mom… we have all made an agreement that we will continue the family traditions you created for us & we will continue making memories in your honor. We love you & will see you again!
An open viewing will be held at Jay’s chapel on Wednesday February 24th from 4pm – 6pm. A private rosary will be held immediately following the viewing at 6pm.
An open mass service will be held on Thursday February 25th at St. Joachim’s Church at 11am. A private burial will be held immediately after the services.
Memorial donations can be made to St. Joachim’s School 310 N. I Street, Madera, CA 93637. Carmen would have appreciated donations going to the school to continue our youth’s growth in their catholic faith while helping them excel in their academic endeavors.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 2/24/2021 at 05:50 PM, Pacific Standard Time.
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