Obituary of Julia Hernández
Julia Hernández, 94, passed away peacefully from natural causes with her family by her side on January 23, 2022. Julia was born on June 13, 1927 in Piedras Negras, Coahuila México to Rosendo and Jovita De La Rosa. She had four brothers and three sisters. She married her husband, Román P. Hernández (who preceded her in death in 2007) on January 11, 1955. Thereafter, the two of them embarked on a journey as migrant farm workers who worked as agricultural laborers in the states of Texas, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin until they settled in Eastern Oregon (Annex) near the town of Weiser, Idaho to raise their family. Seven of her eight children were born in either Weiser or Ontario, with the oldest child being born in Texas. Later in life, she raised and loved two young grandchildren as if they were her own children. All of her children (and her two grandchildren that she raised) were raised in the Annex area, attended local schools there, and also attended Weiser High School. Like her husband, Julia worked in the fields of Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho for many years. A loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother were only three of her important roles.
A deeply religious woman, Julia attended several protestant churches in Weiser, Idaho until she found her church home in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She was the first in her family to convert from Catholicism. She encouraged her husband, Román, to do the same. Together, their efforts led to the establishment of the first-ever Spanish Congregation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Weiser. She was very active in her congregation, and was a church leader. She taught several Sabbath School classes including to the young children as part of the church’s services. Blessed with a beautiful voice, she led her congregation’s worship services through music and song and would often sing acapella solos during worship services. Julia ensured that she raised her eight children and two grandchildren in the church, and all of them were baptized when they voluntarily chose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Until her death, Julia read daily from the Bible.
The summers and falls were very busy times for Julia who was not only a full-time homemaker, but she also continued to work in the fields as part of her husband’s business as a farm labor contractor, and would serve as a “forewoman” where she supervised work crews in addition to working in the fields herself. She would wake up in the pre-dawn hours and prepare breakfast and lunch from scratch for her family to ensure that her family was well-fed as they labored in the fields for up to 10-12 hours a day. She doubled as a first aid technician, and attended to her family’s injuries incurred while harvesting onions with a sharp knife during the fall. Then, she would return home after a long day and prepare her family’s dinner, also from scratch. Her work ethic is not surprising since she began working at the age of 14 as a domestic in Texas for wealthy Texas families. She worked long hours, and would stay with those families for weeks at a time before she returned home to her family in México. She did this to help provide for her family’s household income. A selfless woman, when she was older, she used her meager earnings to renovate and expand her family’s home.
Julia became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988, and in doing so, she had to pass the citizenship exam which included describing the three branches of the U.S. government, identifying the Bill of Rights, stating the symbolism of the U.S. flag (e.g., number of stars and stripes, stating what the number of stripes on the flag and what different colors represent), stating the role of the U.S. Congress (and naming the two Houses of Congress), naming the original 13 colonies, naming her Congressional leaders, among various other questions which are difficult for most Americans to answer. Julia studied to take her citizenship test, traveled to Portland to take it, and passed it the first time around despite her being educated in México. She was very proud to have become an American citizen like her husband, Román, and all of her children. Julia regularly exercised her right to vote, and voted in state and federal elections.
Julia’s hobbies included singing, gardening, sewing and knitting. She regularly prepared baby blankets for her children and grandchildren who, to this day, treasure her beautiful and heart-felt gifts. She was a great cook, and prepared flavorful and nutritious meals for her family from scratch. She passed on her family recipes to her children and grandchildren (yes, even her male children and grandchildren) who now prepare these same special meals for their families. The matriarch of her large family, Julia was a wonderful role model of motherhood, dignity and grace. She was loved by all who met and got to know her. She will be greatly missed, but her memory will live on in the hearts of her loved ones.
Julia was preceded in death by her husband, Román P. Hernández; by her daughter, Alicia H. Hernández; and by her parents, Rosendo and Jovita De La Rosa; sisters Micaela De La Rosa, Pomposa De La Rosa, and Lionires De La Rosa; brothers Silverio De La Rosa, Pedro De La Rosa, Rosendo De La Rosa, and Isidro De La Rosa. She is survived by her daughters: Martha Hernández, Ontario; Estela Gómez and her husband, Mike Gómez, Caldwell; Irene Ross, Boise; and Lidia J. Ortíz, Denver. She is survived by her sons: Carlos Hernández, Miami; Gustavo Hernández, Los Angeles; and Román D. Hernández and his wife, Marisa Hernández, Portland. She is survived by her grandchildren: Susan Gónzalez; Michael J. Widner; Gustavo Hernández, Jr.; Melissa Rogers; Melanie A. Ross; Araceli Coronado; Andres E. Gómez; Joshua Kraus; Carlos Hernández, Jr.; Antonio Ortíz; Jillian Hernández; Hamilton Deleon; Román A. Hernández; and Lucía M. Hernández. Additionally, Julia is survived by 20 great-grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and many other relatives.
Graveside services were held at the Fairview Cemetery, Annex. Arrangements under the direction of Thomason Funeral Home.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Julia Hernández, please visit Tribute Store