Esther Regina Salazar

June 22, 1943 to April 12, 2017

Esther was a native San Diegan, born to parents Lupe (Martinez) and Albert Ramirez, at Mercy Hospital on June 22, 1943. She attended St. Jude Academy, Cathedral Girl’s High School (1961), Mount St. Mary’s College (B.S., Biology 1965), San Diego State University (MSW 1976).

She often referred to herself as a “Country Girl” because, when she was a young child, San Diego was a much smaller city. Her grandparents’ home, where she spent much time, was in an area that was less like a city and more “country.” She would recall playing in the yard with her cousin, Gloria (Martinez) Comagon and the chickens “free ranging.” The memories of her time with her grandmother “Mama” Juanita were some of her most cherished. She always spoke of her grandmother with great love.

When Esther was 15 she attended a basketball game in the gymnasium at St. Augustine High School. It was there that she met her future husband, Lucian. Education was always important to her, so, after graduating from Cathedral, she attended college Mt. St. Mary’s College majoring in Biology. While there, she made friendships that would last a lifetime. Esther and Lucian married on June 3, 1967 and moved to Jacksonville Arkansas where Lucian was a Captain in the Active Air Force. In March 1968 they welcomed their daughter, Teresa, and their family was complete. Esther found much joy in being a mother and cherished the time she spent with her daughter.

The family moved back to San Diego in 1970 and Esther worked as a Medical Laboratory Technologist at Paradise Valley Hospital. After spending several years in this field, she decided to make a change and earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at San Diego State University. She then received L.C.S.W. certification. As she had always had a nurturing spirit, this change was to be a lifelong calling. She spent many years helping others in her career and in all aspects of her life. She enjoyed her years spent working in Addiction Medicine at Kaiser Permanente and retired in 2003. Even in retirement, she kept her private practice going for several more years. She would continue to help others for the rest of her life.

Being a Social worker was an important part of her life, but she also liked to have fun just as she did when she was younger. She could always be counted on to go out to see a movie, attend a Padres game, or even a Broadway show. That was something she and her daughter enjoyed doing together. Esther will always be remembered for her outgoing personality and loving nature. She also liked to explore her creative side and attended life drawing classes at the San Diego Zoo as well as other classes in water color and creative writing. She cared not only for people, but for animals, the environment, and supported many charitable organizations.

Esther passed from complications from cancer. She will always be with us in our hearts and in our memories. Remember her smiling spirit and remember her with love. Esther is survived by her husband Lucian, daughter Teresa, father Albert, sisters Juanita (Tom Edwards), their son Paul-Michael, Monica (Bill Degradis), Mary (Joe Moriarity) and numerous relatives and friends.

She was preceded by her mother Lupe in 2016.

We hope that you will join us in celebrating Esther’s life. For information about service times and dates, please contact:
Teresa Salazar
(Published April 26, 2017)

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to one of Esther’s favorite organizations:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
San Diego Humane Society