Mary Alice Reyes Hernandez
August 22, 1929 – January 22, 2021
Preferably known as Alice, Mary Alice Reyes was born to the proud parents, Cenobia and Benigno Reyes, Sr. on August 22, 1929 in Winslow, Arizona. She was the middle child of seven children. Alice attended schools and grew up in Winslow, but many of her childhood and adolescent summers were spent with her beloved grandmother Carlota, older siblings, and her very close cousin, Lupe Cabral who all lived in Richmond, CA. After graduating, Alice came to live in Richmond in the Spring of 1948 “for good”.
It was during these summers that she met Joseph “Pepe” Hernandez. The two would eventually marry and have eight children of their own. Once Alice moved to Richmond, CA her parents and younger siblings would eventually follow. The family was a tight knit family and spent many holidays and special events together. The sisters throughout the years became known amongst the family as “the AZ sisters”. They raised their children together, and all the cousins grew up close, a bond that has remained for generations to come thanks to the matriarchs of their family.
Being the mother of eight, Alice recalls at one point having a child at nearly every school possible and still doesn’t know how she managed to get from St. Joseph’s Parish School, to Pinole Middle then DeAnza, and Richmond, and Salesians High schools all in one afternoon of carpooling. Besides being a mother of eight, Alice also worked fulltime. She was employed with the State Unemployment office until 1984, she then went onto the Department of Motor Vehicles as a Driver Examiner, partially retiring in 1994 and fully retiring in 2004 when she went to be by her daughter’s side during her fight against ALS.
During her twenty years of service with DMV, Alice made the best of friends with a group of ladies that she referred to as her DMV Buddies, Rosie, Wanda, Jan and Lydia. The women would often get together for lunch and take trips together outside of work. After the passing of Lydia, the group felt a deep loss but continued to get together, and whenever one might fall ill or have some life issues to face, the other three were sure to visit or call on each other with love and support.
Above all was Alice’s love for her family. She raised much of her family in the small neighborhood, Montalvin Manor. A track of houses in an unincorporated area of Contra Costa County. This neighborhood would hold many memories for the family. At one point Alice and Pepe were members of the Montalvin Park Committee. They assisted in organizing Easter Celebrations and Funday in the Park with booths and games set-up to raise money for the upkeep of the park. During preparations of these organized events, many of the kids and grandkids were enlisted to assist. Whether it was passing out fliers throughout the neighborhood or running the games at the event, Alice had a big enough crew to handle the tasks.
Alice’s family has always been well known in Montalvin Manor, but more than her family, she herself earned the title of Mom Hernandez, or the Queen of Montalvin. Whenever someone would ask about the Hernandez family, they would always remember their Mom. Speaking highly of her and the love and support she always gave to her children; that same love and support would be passed onto her grandchildren. Never sugar coating anything, she would let you know if you were wrong and would praise you when you were right. Alice was very proud of each of her children and grandchildren and all the changes they had made within themselves for the better.
On Friday, January 22, 2021, Mary Alice had her children, some grandchildren and great-grandchildren all by her side. As her son, Mark sited a prayer for peace and comfort over the phone, Alice took her last breath and left this earthly life behind.
Alice will live on forever in the generations of her family, from her children down to her great-great-grandchildren, they knew of her love for them and she - their love for her. Her children, Marie Marquez (husband, John), Joseph Hernandez (wife, Cindy), Mark, Jimmy, David (fiancé, Katie Fisher) and Cathy Hernandez; her bonus daughter, Laura Pierson; adopted kids, Mike Mohring and Gretchen Hernandez; brother Henry Reyes, sister Julie Salazar; 31 Grandchildren; More than 80 great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren combined along with many more family and good friends acquired over the years.
There have been many to go before Alice; just two weeks prior to her passing, bonus son, Robert Hernandez, Sr. and the day after, sister-in-law, Barbara Reyes passed away as well. We know when Alice arrived in heaven she was greeted by the ones she has loved and missed dearly, son, Danny Hernandez, daughter, Juanita Hernandez Reaves; husband, Joseph “Pepe” Hernandez; sisters, Pat Reyes, Connie Salazar and Charlotte Alvarez; brothers, Frank and Bingo Reyes; her parents, three-grandchildren and many more. Oh what a party they must be having, what a sight to see, all of their faces smiling, together once again.
In Alice’s last days it was more important to her than ever that her family come together and be there for each other.
In her very own words
“Family stays together”
The family wishes to express their gratitude to son, David Hernandez and his fiancé, Katie Fisher for their continued, around the clock care of their beloved Mom. Because of their attention to her needs, Alice was able to remain in the comfort of her own home until the day she passed.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 2/10/2021 at 10:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mrs Mary "Alice" Reyes Hernandez, please visit our floral store.