Anna Dolores Alvarez
April 5, 1927 – October 15, 2019
A description of the Chumash Indians of California: “Affable and gentle, liberal and hospitable to strangers, agile and alert, lively, industrious, skillful and clever…friendly and helpful nature”.
This was Anna Dolores Alvarez, an Elder in the Chumash Nation of Ventura: The Barbareno/Ventureno Band of Mission Indians. She was related to Petra Pico, one of the most famous basket makers whose work is in the Smithsonian Museum.
For their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary Anna made a beautiful hand beaded white suede Chumash dress for their ceremony, her Chumash Regalia.
Anna was born in Camarillo, California on the Camarillo Ranch where she lived with her parents Albert and Julia Garcia. She moved to Los Angeles as a young child.
Anna had a long career as a coat maker and tailor in downtown Los Angeles, following her mother’s career. She was a key leader in organizing the Union for seamstresses. On one visit to Paris she was welcomed to the top floor atelier of Christian Dior.
Anna was always active as a volunteer helping at fundraising events including making habits for Sisters of Charity nuns.
Anna and Albert Alvarez we’re married for 58 years. She and her mother made her white satin wedding gown. They lived in Los Angeles, Montebello and Atascadero, California.
Anna was a business woman who especially enjoyed learning about real estate investments and spent time visiting properties with her sister-in-law Shaula Lopez-Martinez.
Anna travelled widely including England, Europe, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and China. She was always ready when someone said “Let’s go”, including a cross country drive with her daughter Carmelita and grandsons to visit the baskets of Petra Pico at the Smithsonian Museum.
Anna was devoted to her Family and selflessly met all their needs all her life. Her brother Roberto fondly remembers holding Anna’s hand as she hurried to take him to school each morning as she was rushing to go to work, he stumbling along to try to keep up. Anna was first in line to care for her grandchildren and teaching them how to make the world’s best tortillas.
Anna was surrounded by her family when she went home to Heaven. Anna is survived by her daughters Carmelita Castaneda and Grace Cronk, grandchildren Alejandro, Albert Joel, Kevan and Alanna and by her brother Roberto Lopez-Martinez.
As a dear friend said of Anna, “It is such a sadness to say GoodBye to so Lovely a Soul”.