Eleanor Marie Madrid Salazar -- "Grandma" -- was called by our Lord on April 29th, 2014. She is in God's Kingdom to share eternal paradise with her loving husband of 60 years, David Salazar.
Lenor was born on February 11, 1926, the eldest daughter of Carlos and Juana Madrid. She was preceded in death by her three brothers: Mike, Henry and Fred. By the age of 12, Lenor had lost both of her parents and became the mother figure to her three brothers. As a teen she was sent to a convent to live with nuns and to continue her education. While there she attended church every day and the importance of faith was instilled in her during these formative years.
While at the convent Lenor had a friend who was being visited by her beau. On one particular visit the friend's beau brought his own friend along. This handsome young man was named David Salazar and would go on to sweep Lenor off her feet. They quickly became pen pals. Lenor loved to write letters and shared her love and kindness through her words.
Lenor was only 17 years old, so David had to get permission to marry her from her guardian and uncle, Elias Romo. Lenor and David were married on August 8th, 1943, in Los Angeles.
On September 28th, 1944, Lenor and David became parents for the first time with the birth of their son, Joe. Lenor's doctor told her that she was high risk and should not have any more children. However, her desire to have a large family was so important to her that she risked her own health to have four more children: Michael, Jenny, Rosemarie, and Teresa.
Lenor was always civic-minded and volunteered for many things when they lived in Los Angeles. She worked in polling places, wrapped gifts for hundreds of children, worked with the Cub Scouts and Woodcraft Rangers, and supported her husband David when he was a Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts. Of all the things she did in her life though, none of them were as important to her as her family. She and David raised their children to know the value of family and the power of prayer. Staying close to extended family was very important and they were always part of the Romo family picnics.
Lenor's loving and caring personality was part of everything she did. Lenor was not just a housewife -- she was a homemaker. She enjoyed cooking for her family and eating dinner together every night. Lenor taught her children how to treat people. If company came to visit they would always be offered something to eat. Her home always smelled of fresh homemade tortillas, rice and beans. She had love for everyone she knew and if you were a friend you were family. She was blessed with many friends and would have monthly gatherings with a group of her lady friends, which her husband lovingly referred to as the "Old Bags Meeting".
Lenor opened her home with her ministry of babysitting for others. Lenor and David were lovingly referred to as "Grandma and Grandpa" by everyone who entered their home.
At one point Lenor and David opened their home to a family of children – the Yturralde's. Theresa, Kathy, and Kenny became part of the family.
If the walls of her home could talk, they would tell you of the loving greetings as you walked in, the hugs and kisses at the door, the countless Christmases, Easter Egg Hunts, birthdays, anniversaries, and all of the other special occasions. Lenor made everyone feel special in her home.
Lenor was a woman of faith and made sure her children had church and "Papa Dios," our Father God, in their lives. Every Sunday the Salazar family could be seen at church because building that strong foundation of faith was important for the family. Lenor would have her children in a line every night to be blessed by her before they went to bed or on an overnight trip. She continued this tradition with her grandchildren. Even in her last days she had enough strength to bless two of her granddaughters.
Lenor suffered from Alzheimer's for many years. But each day that her family had her in our lives was a blessing. Life should be measured not by the number of years but rather the love shared, the memories made, the joy given and the blessings received.
Because of one day decades ago when two people fell in love, Lenor leaves a fruitful legacy of five children, 19 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren, so far. The lessons of love she taught us will live on in our hearts forever, as she will.
Goodnight Grandma, until we meet again.
Luyben Family Dilday-Mottell Mortuary (562) 425-6401