Anita Beltran of Thatcher passed away on April 30, 2020, at the age of 96. She was born on September 19, 1923, in Gardanne, France to Jose Zamora and Josefina Bolea Zamora with sisters Josephine “FiFi”, Eréne, Angéle, and Dolorés.
Anita was raised in France and attended schools there. She met a young man, Ernesto Beltran, from Douglas, Arizona while he was serving in the military there in France. The couple soon fell in love and married on January 21, 1946, in Marseille, France, and honeymooned in Paris.
A few short months later, Anita, as a war bride, was shipped home to Douglas, Arizona to live with Ernesto’s parents. She only spoke French and they spoke Spanish and English, needless to say, it was a rough start for all of them. She was also in shock when she arrived as she “had seen all the John Wayne movies and everything was green and beautiful, all she saw in Douglas was tumbleweeds and dust.” Anita started going to school there in Douglas to learn English and Spanish so that she would feel more comfortable in her new surroundings.
When Ernesto was released from military service, the couple moved to California along with Ernesto’s brother, Ben, to find work. They decided to marry in the United States and were wed again on March 20, 1948, at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Bakersfield. They later returned to Arizona, making their home in Thatcher.
The couple never had children so they were very close and did everything together and were blessed to have many nieces and nephews to spoil. They were able to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary together. Sadly, on May 14, 2001, Ernesto passed away leaving Anita on her own but luckily she had a dear friend, Sally Villalba, who stayed by her side and helped her through the tough times.
Anita is survived by her sister Josephine “FiFi” Bourrelly of France, her sisters-in-law Emma (Chapo) Barcelo of Douglas and Salud “Sally” (Chema) Garcia of Mesa, her brother-in-law Ramiro (Yvonne) Beltran of Pamona, California, her dear friend Sally Villalba, along with many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Ernesto Beltran, her parents Jose & Josefina Zamora, and her sisters Eréne Macari, Angéle Ballatore, and Dolores Bandaccari, her sister-in-law Concha Luna, and her brothers-in-law Robert (Lupe), Reuben (Rosa), and Ben (Sally) Beltran.
A viewing will be held on Friday, May 22, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. at McDougal's Caldwell Funeral Chapel. The Recitation of the rosary will be held at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church beginning at 10:30 a.m. with the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. The graveside will follow at the Safford Cemetery.
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