Laura La Riva was an energetic and loving daughter, mother, grandmother and Auntie who now resides in Heaven after passing away at home in Tinnie, NM on Monday April 12, 2021. Born in Wilmington, CA to Roman and Irene La Riva she was a happy and active child who at the age of 7 began ice skating and soon entered into the competitive field where she quickly accumulated many trophies and medals due to her grace and jumping ability. In her 7th and final year of competition, she won the Western Regional Novice Ladies competition in Great Falls, Montana. She attended Phineas Banning High School in Wilmington, CA from which she graduated in 1984. She married her husband Jose Valdes on November 02, 1991. While living in California they had two boys, Anthony and Victor. In 1998, her mom, dad and boys moved to Tinnie, New Mexico and were followed shortly after by Laura and Jose. Their daughter Madison was born there in 2002. Laura was preceded in death by her brother Juan Benavidez (1998) and her mother Irene (2017). In addition to her dad and children, Laura had two grandchildren, Oliver and Felix, from her son Victor and his wife Alyssa. She is survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces and great nephews and nieces who loved her dearly.
Following are endearing thoughts of their beloved mother from her children:
She taught all three of her kids to make friendship bracelets, we still make them all the time.
She collected stickers and patches and decorated or personalized everything she owned, all her notebooks, sterilites, clothes. Most of the time all we did was look at them though so we could save them:)
We liked to catch butterflies outside of the house when I was little. There were big pretty orange and blue butterflies. We'd stay really still in hopes they'd land on us. She had butterflies tattooed on her arm.
She had a garden tattooed on her arm. With flowers, vines and butterflies. As well as three tattooes for each of her kids. She had a tattoo of my lips when I was a baby. I put on lipstick and kissed a napkin and she took it in. She had a tattoo of Jake Skellington for Victor because Victor's favorite movie was the Nightmare Before Christmas when he was little. And she had an ant for Anthony.
She loved cats, she loved animals but mostly she loved cats. I think she's the reason I'm so obsessed with them too. My grandpa used to have lots of barn cats outside on his ranch. Me and my mom would socialize them and we always had a favorite or two that sometimes made their way into the house with us :) Cats always liked her too.
She had odd food habits at times. All three of her kids picked up on them:) mostly Madison lol
When the boys and I were younger we'd always wrestle. So happens that mom would jump in sometimes and usually win. So whenever I'd be getting tickled or losing the wrestling match, I'd call mom for reinforcements.
She was really good at ice skating, she never lost her skills. She took me and Jazzy ice skating in California and I still remember her spins and how graceful she was. I kept falling on the ice and the people working there asked me if I was okay every time. To which she eventually replied "she's tough, she's okay!"
She always referred to my grandpa as "my dad" instead of "your grandpa":) it sounded sweet. Whenever we'd see pictures of him she'd say "look how handsome my dad is!" She loved her family very much.
Mom would always do what made her kids happy and spend her last dollars on us if we asked her to.
She loved doing all types of crafts like sewing and painting her clothes, hemming her pants and sewing the bottom so it wouldn't be frayed.
She loved to personalize all her stuff, with paint and stickers. It was easy identifying her stuff.
She was always really organized. Everything was super neat and she knew where everything went and where everything was.
Mom always tried to play with us when we were skate boarding or riding bikes. Once she tried to jump off the ramps we built for the bikes and she bit her tongue.
Everything she did was for her kids or to remember her kids all of her passwords were our names and birthdates.
She loved to tan and the beach. She'd tell stories about how she would spend so much time at the beach when she was younger. We would tan on my grandpa's porch as my grandma sat on a chair. My grandma would joke to us "you know when to turn when you hear your skin sizzle!"
Mom liked makeup and nail polish. She taught me how to do my nail polish when I was little and ever since my nails are always painted. She would always do hers black or red. We would sit on the floor in her room and play with all her makeup. I'd even use her eyeliner to draw fake little tattoos on my arm like her. I loved one of her lip glosses so much she got me my own, it was called Star kissed.
There was never any doubt that she loved her children very much and they too adored her.
A memorial Mass for Laura will be held at 8:00 AM at St. Jude Roman Catholic Mission in San Patricio, New Mexico on Sunday May 23, 2021.
Laura's funeral Mass will be at Sts. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, California on Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 10 AM with interment following the Mass at Wilmington Cemetery.