Catholic 01

Maria Morais Santos

November 16, 1931 ~ April 9, 2022 (age 90)



Maria M Santos, 90, of Ceres, passed away April 9th, at her home after a short illness. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After her father’s death, her mother moved Maria and her older sister Celenira back to Porto Judeu, Terciera, Azores. Maria was almost 2 years old at this time.

Raised by a widowed mother, the girls had to help with the household income by working with their mom making embroideries, sewing and mending dresses to sell or for barter.

In the small village of Porto Judeu Maria became well known for her singing voice. She was asked to join one of the local performing groups to do shows. Her mother agreed because she would be chaperoned by the trusted Santos family. She loved performing and singing. Soon she met the love of her life, Frank (Francisco) Santos who played in the bands. As many people did in those days, they courted through the window of her home. When he asked her mom to marry Maria he was finally allowed in the house. They married in 1952. After a year later their first son, Rui, was born. Both of them nearly died due to complications.

In 1955 they came to California. Early on Frank worked as a mill worker and milker at different dairies, at one very large dairy, Maria also worked as a cook and cleaning lady for 7 milkers and owner’s family. During this time, they had their second son, Fernando.

A few years later their daughter, Lubelia was born. They both worked very hard, sacrificed and saved everything they could and were blessed to have their own dairy, which they had for many years.

Maria worked as a housewife, a cook for a large dairy, a dairy hand, a flower picker for a large florist in Montery, a farm worker picking fruit, line worker at Tri-Valley in Modesto and at Valley Fresh in Turlock.

Music was still a very large part of their lives, Frank had a dance band, the Santos Orchestra, where Maria would often sing with Frank’s brother, Isalino and her oldest son, Rui, played drums. She stopped singing with the passing of her mother. One of her biggest regrets. She was always happy to accompany and support Frank in his music whether it be the dance bands or Portuguese Marching bands he was part of. She would always be seen at his side dressed in beautiful outfits she created often without patterns, some matching his suits even the marching band suit. They both loved this part of their lives and cherished all the friends they made.

Maria deeply loved her family, God and Our Lady. She leaves behind her children Rui Santos (Richie), Fernando Santos (Andrea) and Lubelia Martin. She had 6 grandchildren, Joey Santos (Shalynn) , Timmy Santos (Andrea), Tanya Nicholson (David), Devin Santos, Aaron Santos and Willie Martin. 11 Great-Grand Children and 3 Great- Great-Grand Children. A brother-in-law, Isalino Santos and Sister-in-law, Diamentina Linhares and nephews and nieces.

Preceded in death, her loving husband of 57 years, Frank Santos, sister Celenira Oliveira, parents Francisco & Ermelinda Morais, a sister-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Visitation at 5:00 pm with a rosary at 6:00 on Monday, April 25th at Franklin and Downs-McHenry Chapel. Catholic Funeral Services will be on Tuesday April 26th at 11:00 am at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, the first church, in Turlock. Interment will follow at St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery in Modesto. Following the funeral a reception will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church - Snack Bar Building.

To send flowers to Maria's family, please visit our floral store.


April 25, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel
1050 McHenry Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350

Recitation of the Rosary
April 25, 2022

6:00 PM
Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel
1050 McHenry Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350

Mass of Christian Burial
April 26, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Lady of the Assumption
2602 S Walnut Rd
Turlock, CA 95380


St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery

© 2022 Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information