María Concepción Larios Cazzesus Kellner (b. December 8, 1939) passed away from natural causes on May 28, 2019 in Flagstaff, Arizona.
María’s life highlights the immigrant dream of settling in the United States. María grew up in Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico, immigrating formally to the U.S. in 1964 with the help of the Dean family from Anaheim, California, who saw potential in the confident, dark eyed young woman. In 1965, María met and danced with German immigrant Konrad Kellner at the Anaheim Phoenix German-American Club. In 1966, the two married; in 2018, they celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. María worked as a popular bilingual teacher’s aide for the LAUSD from 1981-2001 and advocated for children who had difficult home lives.
María’s ability to make friends with everyone she came into contact with was legendary. Her interests included needlepoint, crocheting, gardening, ballet, classical and Latin music, and Chinese food. María’s recipes for stollen, chicken tacos, tamales, refried beans, stroganoff, and red cabbage were passed down lovingly to her children.
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She and Konrad has just moved to Flagstaff to live with her daughter Corina, a professor at Northern Arizona University. María is additionally survived by her husband Konrad, retired, son Erik, a junior high school science teacher, daughter-in-law, Julie, and her granddaughter Madelyn.
In these difficult political times, donations in her name should be made to RAICES (www.raicestexas.org), a non-profit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to undeserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.