Esperanza Balderrama Navarrete, also known as “Mami”, was called home by our Lord and Savior on Saturday August 21, 2021 in Odessa, Texas at the age of 84.
Esperanza was born in Chihuahua, Mexico to Emiliano and Socorro Balderrama on April 1, 1937. As a young woman, she had dreams of having a better life. She was courageous and brave and did not let fear keep her from pursuing that dream. This dream led her to El Paso, Texas at a young age where she would meet the man that would later be her husband, Santiago Herrera Navarrete. They were married in Odessa, Texas in 1959 and were blessed with 49 years of marriage.
Having been born on April fool’s day did not make her a fool by any means. Esperanza showed independence and resilience at a very tender age and worked hard at a variety of jobs. She was a wife and mother at a time when women were generally supposed to be housewives, but not her, she worked. The wide range of work included working as a “chef” at La Sopaipilla to making jeans at the Levi Strauss Company to name a couple. Family always came first and she showed her love of family get-togethers by cooking her famous tamales and bunuelos especially at Christmas time. There wasn’t a novella or a garage sale that didn’t call her name. Her dear friend of many years, Chita, was always at her side for these garage sales. Although Mami and Chita always made everything into a competition, it was always friendly and with a cup of coffee or two. Dillard’s outings were very common also, if you knew her well, then you knew that the perfume counter was her go-to spot. She would test every inch of her arms, her clothes and if you were standing nearby, you got sprayed as well. Each of us will carry special memories of Mami in our hearts and each memory will have a special meaning. Mami will be missed as much as she was loved, her love of life and family was the strength she needed to fight illnesses presented to her. Her years on dialysis extended her life, but it’s how she lived her life that should be a lesson to us all. Mami’s life has come full circle with her braveness as a young girl to her braveness shown at the end.
Esperanza is preceded in death by her husband, Santiago, her parents Emiliano and Socorro, brothers Antonio, Nicolas, and Emiliano Balderrama, and sisters Maria Torres and Evangelina Balderrama.
Esperanza is survived by her children Sylvia (Ector) Almendarez of Fort Stockton, Jimmy (Linda) Navarrete and Roman (Christy) Navarrete, all of Odessa; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren; sister-in-law Celestina Balderrama of Mesa, Arizona along with numerous nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.
Pallbearers will be Ector Almendarez, Jr., Gabriel Navarrete, Cristian Navarrete, Christopher Barriga, Noah Barriga and Julian Barriga.
Please be mindful of the ongoing COVID pandemic as social distancing and masks will be requested by the family. Thank you for your understanding.
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