|Birth: ||Jul. 24, 1963|
|Death: ||Mar. 23, 2012|
Los Angeles County
My dear, sweet and beautiful Cousin...
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Aunt, Grandaughter, Cousin, Friend.
The following is the Eulogy read at Priscilla's funeral by her niece, Amanda Kamekona:
Born on July 24, 1963, Priscilla Contreras was the first child of proud parents, Raul Contreras Jr 21, and Rosie Carrasco-Contreras 17. Her Godparents were Cesario and Aurelia Carrasco. Priscilla was a very smart, creative and intuitive child, and was the apple of her father's eye.
For eleven months she was an only child until her sister Rosemary was born in June of 1964. It was obvious at that time that Priscilla displayed all the characteristics of a first born child including a very strong personality with natural born leadership qualities, a caregiver of sort, and a protector. The two sisters very easily fell into their respective big sister, little sister roles. Priscilla was always in charge, wanting things her way or no way!
Except for having a tonsillectomy when she was about four years old, Priscilla was almost never sick. The doctor ordered a soft food diet for the next few days, however she wanted no part of that and proclaimed matter of factly, "I want tacos, not ice cream!"
As a child, Priscilla always loved the holidays including Easter, Halloween and Fourth of July as it was a time for new dresses and ribbons and it meant time would be speant at the park amongst family members and friends. She especially loved Christmas time! Priscilla would often sit for hours in anticipation watching her mother sew. She'd admire the pictures on the front of the pattern packages, envisioning the dress her mother was making. She knew it would not be long before she'd get to try on the new dress made especially for her! Her love for the holidays continued on through adulthood.
In May of 1969, when Priscilla was almost six years old, her youngest sister Monica was born. She was very proud of her baby sister and she was a very nurturing and protective big sister. She always had a good sense of things whether it was with family or with friends; a sort of "natural gut feeling" or sixth sense that seemed to drive her actions through her later years. She also developed an adventurous and somewhat rebellious side, which often got her into trouble.
Prior to finishing the fourth grade, her parents separated and a short time later her parents divorce was finalized. This was a very emotional time for the entire family but more so for Priscilla who was affected deeply by it. Although she loved her siblings, Priscilla missed her father and she wanted to be with him, so shortly after the divorce, she moved in with her Dad. The weekends were spent in the San Fernando Valley playing baseball at a local park with uncles and cousins and other family relatives. It was where we learned to play ball.
Priscilla was also a huge Elvis fan, as is most of the family. One great memorable event was when her Dad Rula took all the kids to see Elvis at the Forum in Inglewood. It was an unforgettable experience that was always reflected on during later years.
In March 1974 when she was eleven years old and in the fifth grade, her brother Daniel was born. He was the first boy in the family and all three sisters showered him with love. It was about this time, too, when Priscilla learned to drive. Priscilla would often take her father's keys while he was sleeping. With her sister Rosemary in the passenger seat, they'd drive though the back streets of Eagle Rock where they lived with their father and returned home before he ever knew they were gone. Their car outings became more adventurous as they grew older.
This was also the time when Priscilla and Rosemary were introduced to their half sister, Lydia by their father after they performed at the Echo Park Parade.
As a teenager, when Priscilla was in the eight grade, Rula Priscilla and Rosemary moved back to Echo Park just across the alley from their Aunt Maggie's house. From this point forward, Aunt Maggie played a very significant role in the Contreras girls lives. With their mother being remarried and living elsewhere, and their father often being away, the two girls had the apartment to themselves most of the time to do as they pleased. Summers were often spent with cousins staying over during school breaks, particularly cousin Jimmy, and lifetime bonds were created. Many adventures were experienced during this time with both cousins and friends. I'm sure every cousin and close friend of Priscillas has a great "Echo Park Apartment" adventure story to reminisce upon.
Priscilla was a tremendous athlete. Whether it was track and field, basketball or softball, she excelled in all sports. She played recreation softball and high school varsity softball again where she excelled. One of her most memorable times was when she attended the John Wooden Camp for Basketball where she won an award and took a picture with John Wooden himself!
At 15, Priscilla secured her first job at the local drive thru Dairy. She loved working and being independent. For fun during the weekends, she usually borrowed her mother's VW Bug to drive her friends and siblings around town. Priscilla preferred to work rather than go to school. She was bored with high school, loved earning her own money and bing the independent person that she was, she decided to quit school and instead earned her GED.
In 1981, her little brother Nicholas was born. Eighteen years apart, Priscilla and Nick were like two peas in a pod with both having similar addventurous and fun loving spirits, as well as temperments. Priscilla was very generous and often took all four of her siblings out on many excursions including nice restaurants. The more she experienced life in a new way, the more we did too. She wanted her family to enjoy life the way she did. She was our big sister, our leader and we loved her.
During the summer of turning 19, Priscilla moved out and rented her own place in Glendale with a friend. The place immediately turned into a party pad. The party girl lifestyle continued with a close circle of friends and cousins that she shared many memorable moments with. As a result, tight bonds continued amongst her extened family members as well as pacts made between some on things never ever to be repeated...
In her twenties, Priscilla dated on and off but in late 1986, Priscilla finally met the man of her dreams. After her first date with Charles Calleros, she came home and proclamed, "I'm in love!" Together, Priscilla and Charles went on several trips including Santa Barbara, Big Bear and other camping places. She was a city girl and never enjoyed the great outdoors, but she was head over heals in love with Charles so she made the effort to do the things he loved. They had a very passionate relationship. Four years later, on March 22, 1991 they were married in Los Angeles.
Nine months later, their first child, Ciara Ashely was born on December 17, 1991. They were proud parents and they loved Ciara with all their being. Ciara was and is the spitting image of Priscilla both in personality and in looks.
Fifteen months later, on March 24, 1993, their second child, Mia Nicolette was born and again they were proud parents who couldn't be happier.
Finally, six years after that, on February 7, 1999, their only son, Emilio Miles was born. Priscilla and Charles were so proud to finally have a boy! Emilio's academic accolades and his success in the GATE program in school as well as his tremendous athletic ability (like hers) made them both so proud! She especially loved going to his basketball and soccer games where she watched him excell on the field. She was so proud of her son!
As she was with her siblings, Priscilla was both very protective and proud of her three children and she was especially greatful for her family. On Mother's Day, May 12, 1996, Priscilla made a life altering decision and became a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The program has helped her remain sober for almost 16 years. She dedicated her life to the program, where she was not only able to help herself, but she was able to help many women make positive changes and overcome alcoholism themselves to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives. She was very proud of her work with AA and our family was also proud of her success with the program.
Priscilla held various part time jobs through the years, but she was primarily a stay at home Mom focused on raising her children and self improvement. In recent years, she found her niche as a counselors aid in a local mental health facility where she helped mentor individuals in their alcohol abuse proram. She enjoyed this work as it was the most fulfilling for her.
Through the years, Priscilla remained the nucleus and driving force, not only of her immediate family, but also of the extened family, always ensuring the family celebrated the holidays together. It is a tradition we will continue in her honor.
In March of 2011, Priscilla was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer). The news was a shock, as it devestated her entire family and friends. Hard to accept for most, Priscilla remained strong and unbelievably brave. She was most concerned with the well being of her family members than she was for herself often reassuring everyone things would be ok. She had a constanct stream of visitors made up of family and friends.
On March 23, 2012, she slipped into a coma, and as she staddled both lives, her six year old nephew Max (Monica's son) was compelled to write Priscilla a letter. It was a one sentence letter and although he was not able to get the exact words down on paper, he told his mother, "Mom, I wrote Priscilla a letter. I told her I don't like the way things are going." Within an hour, Priscilla passed away. She was surrounded by her family. Max's letter was later discovered under her bed and we believe that Max's letter was metaphoric in the timing of Priscilla's passing in that perhaps she also didn't like the way things were going for her and it was simply the right time for her to leave this life and go on to the next.
Now that she lay in sleep, we thank the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for being so generous to have given Priscilla the most precious gift (life) and also the pleasure of meeting, going to school with and working with each and every one of you here today and those that are no longer in the present. Priscilla takes with her locked away in soul for all eternity, friendships, enjoyment and happiness to have crossed paths with each of you.
For all the loved ones left behind, Charles, Ciara, Mia, Emilio, Dad, Mom, Ed, Dan, Monica, Manuel, Rosemary, Kory, Lydia, Manda, Io, KJ, Jaclyn, Natalie, Max, Grandmother, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, AA Family and friends..."Farewell, until we see each other again."
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Covina Hills)
Los Angeles County
Created by: rita samaniego
Record added: Mar 23, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87268928
2 years today. 24 months ago. 730 days. There has been no smile to brighten a room like yours did. There has been no laughter like yours to fill a room. I feel like sometimes I need to struggle to hear your voice, but once I hear it, it's with me for a lo...(Read more)|
Added: Mar. 23, 2014
Today is your Wedding Anneversary. The 2nd one since you left. I'm sure Charles is remembering. I miss you Priscilla, my beautiful cuz...|
Added: Mar. 22, 2014
So, tonight I come home from dinner with my bro and his family and some friends and I go straight to FB. One of your sisters has posted a song to you, I listen to it, and I fall apart. I miss you so much, Priscilla. I think if you and my heart really ache...(Read more)|
Added: Mar. 8, 2014
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