Last week, McFarland school employees, students, friends and family paid tribute to Ada Oralla Diaz, who passed away recently after a battle with cancer, at a memorial celebration at Kern Avenue Elementary School, where she taught for two decades.
With profound sadness, family announced the passing of "Mrs. Diaz," who was born in Casa Grande, Ariz., on Dec. 27, 1973. She died while sleeping peacefully at her McFarland home on Jan. 24.
She was a loving and devoted wife, mother and friend to all whose lives she touched. She had just turned 47. She graduated high school in Yuma, Ariz., and married the love of her life, David Diaz, on April 20, 1996. They then moved to David's hometown of McFarland. She pursued her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, attending and graduating from Cal State Bakersfield with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies.
She taught in the McFarland Unified School District for 22 years.
Nothing was more important to Ada than her faith in Jesus Christ, and she attended church at Life House. A Celebration of Life service was held Feb. 11 at the Bakersfield church. A funeral service was held the following day at Life House in Bakersfield. She was then laid to rest at the Wasco cemetery.
Diaz had many interests, she was a coach, teacher and loved to be at every basketball game and cross-country race. She enjoyed being involved in her children's lives.
Diaz is survived by her mother, her brothers, Uziel and Abner Ramirez, her sister, Yariet Camarena, and numerous nephews and nieces.
She also leaves behind her husband, David, and her four daughters: Dianitza, Dyaneli, Davianna and Demari.
Everyone who knew Ada loved her dearly and will never forget her faith, grace, wit and laugh, but most of all her undying love for them.
On Feb. 10, 150 of her relatives, friends, colleagues and others from McFarland stood for a memorial service for Mrs. Diaz that culminated in the release of hundreds of purple and white balloons on the outdoor track at Kern Avenue Elementary School.
Former student Mira Rodriguez was taught by Mrs. Diaz for first and second grade.
"She treated me like one of her own kids. She inspired me," Rodriguez said. "I will always remember her kindness and her smile."
Many spoke about her touching and lasting effects on them and, of course, the love she shared.
Her husband, David, provided a touching tribute. Her sister, Yariet, also spoke. Both of their stories brought many to tears.
To conclude the memorial, those in attendance walked a lap around the track, where Mrs. Diaz enjoyed coaching her young athletes. Her family walked at the front, and everyone in attendance followed in tribute.