Esther May Rios was born on December 9, 1957 in Whittier, CA to Jose and Andrea Aguilar. She married her forever lover, Santiago Rios on June 20, 1992. She was preceded in death by her parents Jose and Andrea, sister Margret, and brother-in-law's Del Fino and Gabriel. She is survived by her husband Santiago, brother Arthur (Maria), brother-in-law Lawrence, children Santiago JR, Sonia (Mario), Ernest, Victoria, and many grandchildren and great grandchild.
Esther graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Finance. While attending college, she worked for the IRS and continued after graduating. Prior to her son Ernest being born, she left the IRS and started her own small business as an Enrolled Agent and was able to better help her clients.
Growing up, Esther worked alongside her father Joe, helping fix refrigerators around the city and learned how to do woodwork. They shared a love of handmade goods and even made their family hutch together in their garage. Later in life when her sister Margret was diagnosed with cancer, Esther, Margret, and their mother Andrea decided to take a crochet class together. This was one of the final bonding moments they had together that Esther treasured for the rest of her life. Andrea encouraged Esther to learn how to read the crochet patterns so she could go far with her craft- and she did. Esther crocheted many gifts for her family and friends through her life.
When Esther married Santiago, she gained two children, JR and Sonia. She never thought of them as her step children, and always acknowledged them as her own. JR, Sonia, and Ernest gave Esther the most amazing gift - the gift of becoming a grandmother. Esther had unconditional love for all of her grandchildren. Her home was always open to them. Whenever they would visit, Esther made sure to stock up on their favorite foods and games. Reilina and Esai loved when she would make papas and chorizo while Sylvia and Linda would ask for her French toast. Brandie enjoyed playing scrabble, LCR, and many other games with her Grandma. Madison would go over Esther's childhood home to meet up with her mother Andrea, to make cookies and play dress up in the clothes she crocheted her. When Esther's great grandson Damian came to visit during Christmas of 2019, he spent 3 days with her and her husband Santiago where they crocheted together and played board games.
Ernest and Victoria grew up having the most loving, patient, selfless, and incredibly strong mother. She always signed up to be their Room Mom in elementary school, Den Mother for Ernest's Boy Scout Troop, the Troop Leader for Victoria's Girl Scout Troop, and the Speech & Debate Team Mom for Victoria's high school. As the Room Mom for both of her children, she would be running back and forth between their classes. Esther even involved her father Joe for Indian day at their school and had him come into Victoria's 2nd grade class to teach the kids how to make tamales with their famous New Mexico red chili. She later had the Boy Scouts learn from her father Joe to earn their wood work badge. When Victoria was in high school, she continued to be involved by becoming the Speech & Debate Team Mom. She would be part of the planning, fundraising, driving students to their tournaments, and much more. Esther loved being involved with her kids and made many wonderful memories with them throughout their lives.
Esther was also known to throw a good party! Every December her and her husband Santiago would host their annual Tamale Party at their home. Here, their family and friends would come together to celebrate the holidays and make delicious food. She loved to host events at the house and loved being surrounded by her loving family. When she wasn't hosting a gathering, Esther would be giving back to the community. Most recently, she was a member of the American War Mothers where they hosted monthly luncheons at the VA in Long Beach, CA. She then became an associate member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, where she was the Secretary and would help organize fundraisers, charitable donations, and scholarships for high school seniors.
For those who wish to attend the Mass but are unable to attend in person, there will be a virtual live stream.
Please copy and paste this link to your browser to attend.
Esther will be deeply missed by her loving family and friends.
"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Esther's honor to the following organizations:
• Liver Disease Communities. Liver Disease Stories - ALF (liverfoundation.org)
• Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance | OCRA (ocrahope.org)
• Alzheimer's Foundation of America (alzfdn.org)
• Home | WomenHeart
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Starts at 9:45am (Pacific time)
Riverside National Cemetery