Cover photo for Maria S. Perez's Obituary
Maria S. Perez Profile Photo
1930 Maria 2024

Maria S. Perez

December 9, 1930 — June 10, 2024


On June 10, 2024, Maria S. Perez, devoted mother and grandmother, was granted eternal rest at 93. She was born on December 9, 1930, in Alamo, TX, to Jesus and Manuela (Silva) Solis and passed away at her home in Donna, TX.

Maria met her soulmate, Ismael Mike Perez Sr., who attended a softball game she was playing in Alamo. They were married on Valentine's Day of 1948, and they would go on to start a family soon after.

Those who knew Maria best, especially her children, would describe her as a loving, beautiful, sincere, and honest woman. There are endless endearing attributes that can be used to describe Maria. Still, above all, she is remembered as having the biggest heart, an infectious laugh, and a devotion to her family and community.

In 1977, Maria turned the poker room into a daycare. Maria’s intuition was spot on because Mike passed away unexpectedly in 1978. Her love for children, passion for teaching, and work ethic were a recipe for success, and word traveled fast. Soon, Maria expanded Early Start Childcare to the living room and became a successful entrepreneur. Maria's tenacity and ethical business practices allowed Early Start Childcare to thrive for nearly forty-six years, with Maria as the director. Maria remained a widow and put all her energy into serving the community. She retired two weeks before her passing. Besides her children, Maria deemed this her most significant accomplishment in life. Her profession left her both fulfilled and honored, especially when those she taught started families of their own and entrusted their children to her care just as they had been. Maria was also generous with her knowledge, as she was known to host informational seminars for others interested in opening their daycare centers.

As a spiritual and virtuous woman,  Maria was known to attend mass every Sunday and pray alongside her prayer book every morning and evening. She dedicated much of her free time to volunteering for the church, whether fixing pancakes or helping out with fundraisers. Maria also served her ministry as a member and Treasurer of The Catholic Daughters of Americas. Maria's faith was a guiding light in how she and her husband raised their children; they were taught to be role models who always treat others with kindness, compassion, patience, and respect.

Maria was known to love a good Donna Redskins football game  and watching the news or Family Feud with her classic Whataburger #7 "well done." When you think of her, you also think of Dallas Cowboys, Oscar de la Renta perfume, Vicente Fernandez, and Elvis Presley.  However, it is safe to say that her most cherished free time was spent with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, for they were her one true passion.  

Maria is preceded in death by her husband, Ismael Mike Perez Sr.; her son, Francisco Perez; her brother, Emilio Solis; and her daughter-in-law, Norma Perez.

She is survived by her children, Elvia Scott (Tom), Ismael Mike Perez Jr. (Marisol), and Lucinda Perez Zerger (Dave); grandchildren Tiffany Scott, Selyna Chavez (Julio), Iliana Gonzales (Mike), and Heather Zerger (Jimmy Merrihew); and great-grandchildren Kurtie Scott, Rebecca Velasquez, Madissyn Chavez, Mike Gonzales, Emmarie Gonzales, and Matthew Gonzales, dear friends who were like family, Florencia Garcia and Ruth Noemi Vasquez. 

Services to honor Maria's life will be held at McCaleb Funeral Home on Thursday, June 13, visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a rosary at 7 p.m. The funeral service will be held at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Donna at 10 a.m., with burial to follow at Donna City Cemetery.

To quote one of Maria's favorite movies, Fried Green Tomatoes, "You know, a heart can be broken but keeps beating just the same." Maria's legacy of kindness and sincerity will live through her family, and how they continue living in her memory and honor. Maria S. Perez rests in eternal peace through all the hearts of those she touched.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maria S. Perez, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Today's Services


Thursday, June 13, 2024

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Thursday, June 13, 2024

10:00am - 9:00 pm (Central time)

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Upcoming Services

Funeral Service

Friday, June 14, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

306 S Salinas Blvd, Donna, TX 78537

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Friday, June 14, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Donna City Cemetery

South Ave, Donna, TX 78537

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