Agnes Mata Guevara
1917 - 2014, Santa Barbara
Obituary for our loving Angel and Matriarch, Agnes Mata Guevara
aka Mamanita by her children and Gramanita by her grandchildren
Her age at death was 97 years.
She resided in Santa Barbara, CA across the street from her restaurant the Rose Café on Haley St.
She passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday Dec. 10th around 8:30 pm.
She was born on July 26, 1917 in Camaron, Tx.
Her parents were Luterio Mata and Petra Mata of Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Mamanita didn’t have any formal education but she did have a big heart and a lot of ambition. She left Aguascalientes, Mexico after going through a divorce with her First husband Geronimo Barajas.
She wanted to make a make better life for her and her 4 children, Manuel, Raquel, Jose, and Esperanza. She came to Santa Barbara, California where she knew she had relatives. Her aunt “Tia Severita” was able to put her to work and provide housing for her. They worked together cooking and serving food to the farm workers through the bracero program. Mamanita was inspired to make more money so that she could bring her 4 children back to the United States with her. Her children had been in the care of her parents for 7 years in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
During those 7 years she had the opportunity to work at the Rose Café in the 400 Block of Haley St. She was offered the opportunity of a lifetime. The owner Maria Alvarez the owner had passed and her daughter Emma advised Mamanita that she would be moving away. She offered her to buy the business. Now during those 7 years Mamanita had remarried. Her husband Antonio Guevara and they had 3 children, Teresa, Anita and Jorge.
Mamanita has received numerous awards for her food and service at the Rose Café including the recent Independent’s “Izzy Award”. Her heart was so big she would never close her restaurant on holidays. She had a warm spot in her heart for the family less, the homeless and stayed open so that they could come in to eat during those times when most are with their families. In fact, her business has only been closed 4 times in all the years of her ownership since 1948.
Agnes Guevara “Mamanita “ is survived by her husband, Antonio Guevara, 5 of her 7 children; Manuel Barajas, Jose Barajas, Esperanza Arriaga, Anita Olvera, and Jorge Guevara. She had many Chominos and Chominas that is what all of her grandchildren will remember being called by her. Manny Barajas Jr., Rafael “Lalo” Barajas, David Barajas, Gina Barajas Trejo, Veronica Barajas Salaman, Yvonne Barajas Rosas, Joseph “JJ” Barajas, Monique Barajas, Jaime Maldonado, Ignacio “Nachito” Loza, Aracely Loza, Pedro Arriga, Marcos Arriaga, Elena Arriaga, Rudy Arriaga, Ronnie Urzua, Sonny Urzua, Lisa Urzua, and Rachelle Urzua, Jorge Guevara Jr., Michael Guevara, Daniel Guevara and Sarah Guevara Urquiza. She has many many grandchildren and great grandchildren. And, she remembered each one until her recent passing.
She was preceded in death by 2 siblings a sister Anastasia and her brother Antonio Mata, daughters; Raquel Loza and Teresa Urzua.
Our Mamanita, our Gramanita will always be remembered for her huge heart, tender advice, inspiration, and all the sweetest unconditional love she spread evenly to all that were endeared to her. When asked her to think of all of her children, her future generations of children, and what her wish for the future would be for the, she simply stated, “Felizidad, alegria, y mucho amor”. This translates to “The best happiness, and love for each other. She said, “ everything is and will be okay, as long as we always stay happy and never forget to love.”
Rosary will be held at Holy Cross church on La Mesa on Friday Dec 19 at 7:15 pm. A memorial service will be held Sat Dec 20, 2014 at 9:00 am at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Please call (805) 963-1734 for further information.