Teresita Lumbreras, age 74, of Bay City, Michigan, passed away on June 10, 2023. She was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on October 20, 1948, to the late Abelardo and Guadalupe (Gonzalez) Ortiz. She was a member of Saint Joseph Catholic Parish in Saginaw, Michigan. Teresita was married to Ricardo Lumbreras, Sr., on December 30, 1967, and they remained married until Ricardo’s passing on December 1, 2020. They raised three children together. Teresita retired from the Bay City Public Schools, in Bay City, Michigan, as an administrator at Western High School in Auburn, Michigan. Teresita was an individual who inspired countless students and colleagues in her educational career with an emphasis on championing equity for traditionally marginalized students in public education. Her hobbies included crocheting, embroidery, sewing, and making blankets for her family. She also enjoyed selling her wares at area craft shows and lunch dates with her former colleagues.
Teresita was a proud alumnus of Saginaw Valley College and Saginaw Valley State University, where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and her Masters degree in Educational Leadership, respectively. She also obtained her Bilingual Endorsement from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. In 1986 Teresita was named the runner-up for Outstanding Hispanic College Graduate for the State of Michigan. As a result of this distinction, she was awarded by the State of Michigan the King-Chavez-Parks Fellowship (named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Cesar Chavez, and Rosa Parks), which fully funded her Masters degree at Saginaw Valley State University. During her tenure with the Bay City Public Schools, Teresita was the first Hispanic female administrator in the district’s history and was awarded The Golden Apple Award from the Department of Education – State of Michigan for academic achievement while serving as the administrator for McAlear-Sawden Elementary School. Additionally, she enjoyed spending her summers working with the area migrant students in the Summer Migrant Program hosted by the Bay City Public Schools. As a former migrant student herself, this endeavor, and others like it were nearest and dearest to her heart.
Her belief in education was driven by the desire to see her children and grandchildren achieve their life’s goals through the venue of education. Her work changed the trajectory of her family's direction and broke both the migrant and poverty cycle that she experienced as a child. She and Ricardo were fortunate to visit places together in Europe, such as Germany and Spain, as well as vacation spots throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. During their travels, they enjoyed visiting casinos, historical landmarks, family, and friends. “Mema” as Teresita was known to her grandchildren, cherished the times when her home was filled with her siblings, her children, and grandchildren, where everyone ate, played, danced, and visited. Teresita was truly devoted to her entire family.
Her children survive her: Viola Gowen of Northville, Michigan; Dr. Ricardo (Priscilla) Lumbreras, Jr., of Granbury, Texas; David Antonio (Lisa) Lumbreras of Weiterstadt, Germany. Grandchildren: Abigail N. Gowen, Grace M. Gowen, Christian M. Gowen, Jacqueline C. Gowen, Amariz G. Lumbreras, Santiago R. Lumbreras, Paola S. Lumbreras, Victor L. Lumbreras, and Dante L. Lumbreras. In addition, her siblings Julian Ortiz, Elvira Rodriguez, and Pedro (Maria) Ortiz, as well as many nieces and nephews, survive her. Teresita was preceded in death by her father and mother, Abelardo and Guadalupe Ortiz, brothers Jose Ortiz and Abel Ortiz, and brother-in-law Tony Rodriguez.
Funeral arrangements are forthcoming and will be announced at a later time. The family thanks you for your patience and understanding. To sign online guestbook, visit www.cremationsocietymidmi.com Arrangements made with Cremation Society of Mid Michigan.