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Barbara J. Urias
December 11, 1928 ~ September 22, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
1 Tree, Flower, or Condolence has been shared with support of Barbara's family - View on Tribute Wall
Our beloved mother, Barbara (Fay) Urias, born in Illinois on December 11, 1928, passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord on September 22, 2023. Ours for a lifetime, now His for Eternity.
Her earliest years saw her living in the throes of the Great Depression. She sold war bonds door-to-door and worked in the onion fields before school. Her father, Frank M. Opeka, was the City Attorney for Des Plaines, Illinois, where Lake Opeka is named in his honor. Her mother was the President of the Elks Club. Her only brother, whom she adored, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross as an aviator in the United States Marine Corp where he flew reconnaissance in Vietnam and Korea and retired a Colonel.
She attended college at Colorado University in Boulder, CO., where she met and married her first husband, William P. Fay, and they had seven children. After 25 years of marriage, they divorced shortly after moving the family to Alpine. She spent her entire married life as a full-time housewife and mother. Having to support her large family on her own was no small endeavor. She learned to waitress at Kapsala's Café in downtown Alpine and how to single-parent her children for over four years. She was determined, resourceful, and resilient.
While her youngest children attended the Alpine School (K-12), she served the community on the PTA, later volunteering in the Alpine Branch Library reading programs. She was a faithful attendee and servant of Bethel Assembly Church for over 40 years and had many friends there. Among her strengths were her kindness and generosity – there was always another mouth to feed or a kid needing a place to stay. Throughout her 55-year residency in the East County town of Alpine, many local kids grew to love her and call her Mom Fay. To this day, some still drop by to say hello.
Her second marriage to her husband Henry Andrew Urias, a crew supervisor for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, lasted 30 years until his passing in 2002.
Mom grew to love the mountains of East County San Diego, traveling to the Lagunas, hiking in Cuyamaca, and driving the backroads. But the beach was her happy place, and she enjoyed long walks just about anywhere for the exercise, fresh air, and sun. In her later years, family, church, crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, bridge, bird-watching, and reading gave her joy. We often called her "the walking dictionary" because of her keen mind, trivia knowledge, and extensive vocabulary.
Her love for God and her children — and the genuine caring for others she instilled in them — remains her most valuable legacy. She is deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Preceding her is her late husband, H. Andrew Urias - parents Frank M. Opeka, Vera C. Opeka - brother Col. F.C. Opeka, Ret. and granddaughter, Errin. She is survived by her children, Steven (Lynette), Darren (Barbara), Brian (Kelly), Christian (Michelle), Jonathan, Evan (Lori), and Maura (Abe) – her grandchildren Elizabeth, Brandon, Sabra, Christina, Brian, Justin, Rory, and Jefry – and her great-grandchildren Katelyn, Ryder, Tristen, Eva, Hunter, and Brooke as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A gathering in her honor will be hosted by her family at her home on December 2nd. Please rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org