Joe P. Maya
February 6, 1933-May 26, 2020
Joe P. Maya proudly served in the United States Navy during the Korean War on board the USS Uhlmann DD-687. He received a degree from the University of California, Davis in Agriculture. Joe was elected for two terms in the Brawley City Council and was the first Mexican-American mayor for the City of Brawley. He was elected to the Reef-Sunset School District Board for 18 years plus, and served as president several times. Joe was a founding member of El Pueblo, People for Clean Air and Water. He was a past member of the Avenal Rotary Club and served as president, attending the Rotary Club International Convention in London. Joe's work life began over 70 years ago as a farmer and grower in the Imperial Valley and eventually moved to the San Joaquin Valley. He enjoyed creating plant maps, walking the fields, checking on the seed growth, and harvest time. He also enjoyed taking his children and grandchildren to the fields and teaching them all how to drive a truck at a young age. His main crops were iceberg and romaine lettuce, melons, and tomatoes. He employed many people over the years and was well known and respected in the farming community.
Joe's favorite holidays included Fourth of July with a big street display of fireworks and a neighborhood barbecue. He loved cooking a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, which was always juicy and delicious. Gathering with family and many friends made the holidays special. Joe was special to us, he was a good man with a great sense of humor and a role model to his family, friends, and community. He was always willing to help out when he could. Being a hard working man, he was able to achieve many firsts of his time and was able to provide a beautiful life for his wife and children.
Joe married the love of his life Esperanza Grijalva Maya November 9, 1963 and was married for 56 years. He is adored, loved, and survived by his wife, Esperanza Grijalva Maya, children; Cynthia Maya, Elisa Maya, Joe G. Maya, and Daisy Maya-Gaona, son in law; Edmidio Gaona, grandchildren; Jesus Maya (wife Angela), Celso Maya-Gaona, Aaron Maya-Gaona, Andrew Maya-Gaona, Joe Elias Maya, Joe G. Maya II, Thalia Maya, and great grandchildren; Kylie, Ace, Joaquin, Ryan, Kairi and Isabelle. Joe also leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Celso and Maria Maya, his sisters; Anna Maria Maya, Louisa (Maya) Lee, and brother; John P. Maya.
We will cherish the fond memories we shared with him. Joe was highly respected and dearly loved by those who knew him and will be greatly missed.
Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, June 25, at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary church followed by burial at Grangeville Cemetery.