Lupita Leal de Monroy, a former resident of Los Banos, California, died at home in El Paso, Texas on May 29, 2024. She was 85 years old and died with her daughters by her side.
Born on November 30, 1938, in Pesquería Chica, Nuevo León, México, Lupita was the daughter of Dr. Gustavo Leal Morales and Dora Benavides De La Rosa. She was named María del Socorro de Guadalupe Leal Benavides, but she preferred “Lupita” (the diminutive of Guadalupe). Her father practiced medicine and operated small pharmacies in Pesquería Chica, Los Ramones, and El Soliseño. He settled in El Soliseño, his wife’s hometown, where they raised their family. In Mexico, Lupita attended Escuela Lauro Aguirre in El Soliseño, Escuela Primaria Baldomero Sánchez in Hídalgo, Tamaulipas, and Colegío de México in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. She graduated from Secundaria y Preparatoria José de Escandon in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.
On December 15, 1957, in Reynosa México Lupita married Jesús “Jesse” Monroy García of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México. In January 1958 they settled in San Mateo, California where Jesse worked his way up to be the manager of Uncle John’s Pancake House in Millbrae, California. In 1963, Jesse was offered an opportunity by Dr. Albert Solgaard to help build and manage the Pancake House Restaurant in Los Baños on Highway 152. In 1964 Jesse accepted the job and they moved to Los Baños. Jesse later built Mission Tesoro, a large hotel and restaurant shopping complex, (which is now known as Mission de Oro). This complex is on Highway 5 in Santa Nella, California.
In the early 1970s, many housewives whose university studies had been interrupted by marriage or childbearing returned to complete their degrees. Lupita enrolled at the Los Baños extension of Merced Junior College and in 1975 received an AA degree from Merced Junior College. In the late 1970s, the Monroy family returned to the Bay Area and settled in Menlo Park, California. Lupita completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Spanish Literature from San Jose State University.
Lupita was multilingual in Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese. She taught Spanish at Chabot College in Hayward and offered private classes in Spanish for executives at the Cambridge Language Institute in Menlo Park. She attended poetry conferences in the US, Spain, Greece, and Thailand. Her poetry was published in conference and university anthologies. She also published three books. Her first book, published by Rondas in Barcelona, Spain, was a collection of poems titled Ramillete de Nardos (Bouquet of Tuberoses). Two other books followed and were published privately: Dora Benavides De La Rosa: Mi Vida (which dealt with her mother’s life) and El Soliseño De Mis Recuerdos (which recalled memories of her hometown).
Lupita, her husband, and various family members travelled extensively throughout the world. Lupita and Jesse’s foreign travels on occasion led them to the homes of dignitaries and heads of state. Their travels to mainland China and Japan were the highlights of their traveling years. In 2014 they moved to El Paso, Texas to be close to their son Gustavo and his family.
Lupita was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother Julio César Leal Benavides, her older sisters Humbertina Leal Garza, Guillermina Leal Garza, Isidra Febe Leal Garza, and her granddaughter, Janelle Alicia Rodriguez Monroy. She leaves behind her siblings Herlinda Garcia Benavides of México City and Maria Antonia Leal Garza, Gustavo Leal Benavides, Dora Leal Benavides, and Alma Leal Benavides (who all live in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México).
Surviving Lupita are her children, Charito Monroy, Jesse Monroy Jr., Gustavo Monroy, Julio César Monroy, Eva Margarita Monroy, and Dulce Maria Monroy. Also left behind are her beloved grandchildren Alondra Monroy, Katia Monroy, Gustavo Monroy, and Benjamin Monroy plus daughters-in-law Christine Wright Monroy and Patricia Gonzalez de Monroy and son-in-law Carl Sandberg.
Lupita’s funeral was held on June 14, 2024, at 11:30am at Sunset Funeral Home West in El Paso, Texas. A ceremony will be held later to inter her ashes next to those of her husband and granddaughter Janelle at Skylawn Cemetery in San Mateo, California. In the future, a portion of Lupita’s ashes will be taken to her hometown of El Soliseño, Tamaulipas, México to be buried near the grave of her father and family ancestors. Here is a memorial site for Lupita: https:// lupita-lealdemonroy/

The Westside Express