"A Beautiful, Wonderful Life"
Flora was born in the village of Waialua in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was the second youngest of a family of six with three sisters and two brothers. Her mother was Victoria Salcedo and father Jose "Pepe" Arca. The family left the sugar cane fields of Hawaii when she was about two years old. They settled in Stockton, California where she attended local schools. After high school, she went on to graduate and received her teaching credential from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was the first American Filipino woman to graduate from UCLA. After finishing school, she married the love of her life Vidal Mata. She worked as a tutor and maid for the Campbell Soup family while her husband worked for the famous actor Boris Karloff for two years before they decided to go work in the Philippines to teach in 1940. She and Vidal spent the duration of World War II in the Philippines. With the help of Boris Karloff, they returned to Stockton where Flora became the first Filipino teacher in the state of California. She taught for Stockton unified for thirty-two years before retiring in 1980. She continued to substitute until she was eighty years old. Flora is survived by her son, Eddie Mata and daughter Vida Mata-Longley. She has eleven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. Flora instilled the importance of education in all her children and grandchildren, for which we are grateful. She lived a long, beautiful and wonderful life and will be deeply missed by all of her family. There will be a viewing for Flora on Tuesday, September 17th from 4:00-8:00 PM at Frisbie Warren and Carroll Mortuary in Stockton. Graveside burial will be held at San Joaquin Catholic Cemetery on Wednesday, September 18th at 10:00 AM for those who want to attend. Celebration of life memorial will be held at Quail Lakes Baptist Church in Stockton at 11:30 AM followed by a luncheon. Donations can be made to Hospice of San Joaquin in memory of Flora.