Louise was born in northwestern Arizona in a city named Seligman to father Juan Delgadillo and mother Francisca Muñoz on August 25, 1928.
Louise was one of 13 children. Connie, Julio, Ted, Joe, Jess, Al, Mary, Ana, Cecilia, Ivan, John, and Katie.
Around the age of 12, towards the end of the Great Depression, the entire family moved from Seligman to San José. They settled down in the Willow Glen area on Lester Avenue off Lincoln Avenue. She attended Herbert Hoover Middle School, graduated from Lincoln High School in 1948, earned her A.A. in early childhood education from West Valley Junior College after having her children.
Louise eventually chose the San Tomás area of Campbell, with vast orchards of prunes and apricots, to raise her children and to call home. She lived on the same plot of land for close to 70 years.
Luisa, as called by her Spanish speaking friends, dedicated over 50 years of her life educating the community, in particular the Latino community, about mental health.
Luisa was interested in learning more about mental health and took her first NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Health, Santa Clara County Family-to-Family class and attended support groups. She was very happy to find the support she needed but realized there was nothing in Spanish.
In 1993 Luisa began her activism to have classes in Spanish. What began with a handful of family members has now grown to a room full of people eager to learn, volunteer, and support other Latino families with a loved one diagnosed with a mental illness.
Luisa has received many awards for her hard work. In 2006 she received the Award for Service to the Latino Mental Health Community at the 12th Annual Latino Behavioral Institute Conference. In 2007 she received the Junior League of San José Crystal Bowl for Outstanding Volunteer Work for NAMI Santa Clara County. In 2008 Luisa received the Jefferson Award from KCBS Radio, TV Channel 5, and the San Francisco Chronicle. That same year she received NAMI’s National Multicultural Outreach Award.
Prior to the covid epidemic Luisa, at 91 years of age, continued to support Familia-a-Familia by attending every graduation. She shared her story with family members and invited them to volunteer, continue to learn and participate in NAMI Santa Clara County programs.
Thanks to Luisa more Spanish-speaking family members are volunteering at mental health fairs and events.
Louise was preceded in death by her daughter Katie Pérez and her son Mark Pérez and granddaughter Carla Díaz. Louise is survived by her sons Gregory, Edward, Richard, daughters Connie, Barbara Pérez-Díaz, son-in-law Juan Diaz, her siblings, Cecilia Esquerra and Katie Lara, grandchildren, Larisa Bryski, Sally Ann Pérez, Juan Diaz II, Gregory Pérez, and Connor Moore, great-grandchildren, Danny Diaz, Laynie Seltzer, and Valentina Díaz, many nieces and nephews, many grandnieces and grandnephews, and many wonderful friends.
In lieu of flowers the Pérez family requests that a donation be made to NAMI Santa Clara County.
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