Memorial Scheduled for April 13

In Memoriam

The honor of your presence is requested at a memorial service to celebrate and remember the life of Cecilia Preciado Burciaga.
11 am, Saturday, April 13, 2013
San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission
3080 Rio Road, Carmel, California 93923

A reception is to immediately follow.
Community Church of the Monterey Peninsula
4590 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, California 93923


* For people who feel compelled to donate, please consider the Dr. Ernesto Galarza Scholarship Fund through San José State University.  Please contact (in any amount – care of Cecilia Preciado Burciaga).


From Rebeca & Tono, 3/25/13

At 10am this morning, Tony came to pick up Cecilia.

Toño, Rebeca, their partners Jennie and David, her sister Rose, and her brother Ralph were by her side. Her passing was peaceful.

We continue to be grateful for your prayers and generosity – thank you for all of your support through this journey. We have felt your presence at every step.

We are in the process of making arrangements for a service but it is likely to be at the Carmel Mission in the next few weeks – per her request. For those of you who wish to celebrate Cecilia, please wait if you were considering sending flowers – we are also still deciding how to best establish or support a cause in her honor.

rebeca y toñoA young Cecilia 3/25/13


With Rebeca’s permission, we’ve started this online memorial for Cecilia. 

Will you please share your memories and thoughts of Cecilia below?   Rebeca has specifically requested “that people share how they will continue her work (e.g. pay it forward?). We have been most touched by the ripple effect of her work – the work her students and mentees have continued.” Thank you!


29 thoughts on “Memorial Scheduled for April 13

  1. Querida Cecilia, we are such a better world for your life and work! Thank you for the inspiration you’ve given me personally. Thank you for the amazing model you have provided to so many young women and men. Rest in peace, Maestra, with your beloved Antonio.

    • Querida Cecilia,
      Thank you for your love, advocacy and inspiration. Thank you for the doors you opened for me and so many others. It was your fierce advocacy for change that opened a door for me at Standford. You were my greatest role model in the good fight to make higher education work for our community. I learned so much from you about building community, being a change agent and a working mom in the late 70’s. Thank you for those magical years at Stanford when we built El Centro Chicano. I took what I learned from you and paid it forward at CPEC and at UC Davis for 30 years. Gracias Cecilia! I pray that you have a safe journey to the heavens with your beloved Antonio. You will always live in my heart.
      Griselda Castro

  2. RIP Cecilia & Tony Burciaga, together again with one another and their ancestors. Alejandro and I owe a lot individually and as a couple to these wonderful people. I am very sad for their family and close friends.

  3. Cecilia was such a presence where ever she was but at Stanford she really shined as a mentor and role model. Every time I met her I was so impressed with her wit, sharp analysis, and graciousness. I had the pleasure of spending one of her birthdays at her home and she made us all feel welcome. My deepest condolences to the family for your loss.

  4. My siblings and I went to elementary school with Rebeca and Toño at Nativity. I later coursed my PhD at Stanford University and was touched by their legacy. Tony and Cecilia made a profound and lasting contribution to the students who came through Stanford in Casa Zapata and beyond. As counselors, administrators, scholars, and artists, they opened so many doors, lit so many lamps, and paved so many paths. My prayers are for the living, those of us who can still use their help, knowing that Cecilia and Tony watch us from their perch in the next life.

  5. Cecilia made such a tremendous difference in our lives it is hard to put it into words . . How do you ever thank someone who stood up at the right time and became a life long mentor despite the rocky road . . Cecilia was always there .. with her calming voice . . beautiful , soulful eyes . . and words of wisdom . . Michael and I are so thankful that our paths crossed with Cecilia that incredible day in Los Angeles . . We are all paying it forward Cecilia . . . we will never forget you . All the starfish thank you . . RIP

  6. Querida Cecilia,
    Ya estas con Tony. Te extraño mucho. I remember that day in fall 1996 when our paths crossed. You shared the story of the starfish, you talked about Tony, you passionately spoke of our need to give back to our communities, to make a difference in any which way we could. One starfish at a time. Me duele profundamente tu ausencia, me ahogo con los sentimientos encontrados. Memorias. I remember when I first saw you at CSUMB, gracias for opening the doors. Unbeknownst to me at the time, you were a force, locally and nationally. You stood for what you believed in, you offered mentorship a manos llenas, you shared your wisdom, you never gave up, your strength and courage will carry on, te lo prometo. I will live your vision, I will walk my talk just like you did. Te quiero mucho querida Cecilia. Descansa en paz.

  7. Que tristeza when we lose our legitimate heroes. People who inspired us and fought for our right to be where we are. QEPD.

  8. I always had a special connection with Cecilia because I went to school with her sister Christina at the Claremont Colleges in 1968 and because we were from Guadalajara. She was also very supportive when I applied for a position at Stanford. Whenever we met, at NACCS or at Stanford or other events, it was always like meeting up with family members. Both Cecilia and Antonio were an example of the values of carnalismo that were born from the Chicano Movement. Cecilia se nos fue por adelante pero siempre vivirá and nuestros corazones y en nuestra historia. Mis sinceros pesames a toda su familia.

  9. Querida y Estimada Cecilia,

    Although I have only known you from afar with your social grace and intellectual presence you have freely given all of us, I am truly saddened by your passing. May the light that you have given to so many of us continue to shine brightly in our deeds.

    Mis profundos pésames a toda su familia.

  10. Primero Tony y luego Cecilia. It was difficult to think of them as separate and now they are together. Together they embodied el movimient0–dedicados, full of passion, always promoting education, and with a generosity of spirit rarely encountered. I was blessed they shared with me their greatest gift–their children. Primero Rebeca y luego Tono. Rebeca, mi estudiante y companera. I was beyond proud when she decided to enter the academy. I knew she would do justice to her parents’ legacy. Y Tono, generoso con su vida y sus pensamientos cuando participó en nuestro libro. Tony y Cecilia nunca pasarán porque viven en las vidas, primero de sus hijos y ahora de sus nietos. Como familia, fueron y son una bendición.

  11. Cecilia–Thank you for sharing your wisdom, strength, and fierce fight for equity with Octavio and me. While we didn’t have the privilege of knowing you while we were students, your friendship and mentorship over the last 17 years have influenced and shaped us both personally and professionally. On the personal level, your consejos has helped us maneuver parenthood and our private lives as you reminded us that raising brown boys is political work. You once told us, “Who better to raise feminista allies than you two.” Your presence at our wedding, visits to Salt Lake City, and a “sleep over” at your home with our boys and tus nietos, all have special memories attached to them. On a professional level, you always reminded us not just how to survive in academia, but how to always fight to transform it. You and Tony, have been an inspiration to us in this world and we expect no less when we meet you again in the next world.
    Con mucho amor y respeto. Descansa en paz.

  12. Mi Querida Mentora,
    There are so few who have inspired my life as you. Sobre todo por tu integridad. I witnessed you struggle against injustices at Stanford on behalf of us the students, people of color, women, queers, and working class people, sometimes winning, sometimes losing. Painful shit. You paid the price. Pero NUNCA te quedabas callada. Mujer osicona. I loved and LOVE that about you. They could never control your tongue y menos tu mente! You touched so many and made us feel of your inner circle, as if, yes, we could aspire to your courage. Daring to walk in your shoes is an awesome challenge. Yet, you inspire as a living example of how social justice work is done… with love and truthtelling and persistence y manos a la obra! I work to honor this legacy every day in classrooms filled with the working class poor and the heavy challenges this presents to us collectively. To you, I lift a shot of Patron (and many more) y grito, Ajua! Que Viva Cecilia! Que Viva Tony! Que Viva la Chicanada! c/s

  13. Querida Cecilia – ahora estas con tu querido Antonio. De parte de Teatro Vision, la deseamos que tu espiritu este rodeada de luz y en mucha paz. Fuerte Chicana! You will always be an inspiration for all the Chicanas chingonas for whom you were a Gran Maestra. Gracias Cecilia! Elisa Marina Alvarado

  14. Cecilia – muchas gracias por tu presencia in the Bay Area and in particular in Redwood City which was next door to Stanford. As a young Chicanita although I did not know you in person I had already heard great things of you and Tony at Stanford. Everyone would say they are a power house couple keeping it real at Stanford. I met you much later in life and people where still talking of both of you as a persona de principios, fighter and mentor. And when I met you via the circles de mujeres -particularly via MALCS, I felt I had always known you. Gracias for living and leaving that legacy of commitment and for transforming our educational institutions and reminding them that need to be principled. And that words need to be more than just spoken but practiced. You and Tony are the embodiment of this work for our future generations and you are now sitting at a larger table which is the memory of “gente de corazon y amor” que han dado todo por us communidad. Gracias for your consejos y vision!

  15. I went to una Lunada at Cecilia’s home many years ago as part of an event for the Multicultural Women’s Group at CSUMB and I was touched by Cecilia’s ability to effortlessly welcome everyone at the table. I felt immediately enveloped by her open arms, radiant warmth and positivity. Thank you for being a driving force in the early days of what CSUMB meant to those of us who went there as young people with a Vision waiting to be molded by individuals such as yourself. Descanse en paze. Abrazos- Jennifer Garcia

  16. Is it Cecilia in that photo? She is a ringer for Jane Fonda. Remembering the 1970’s, los años mas pasados del movimiento chicana/o, years we all shared, Cecilia y Jose Antonio, were always there, front and center as we drank cultura. I miss you both but your words and actions will live forever. For me, Cecilia was a leading Chicana feminista. My unfulfilled wish for her is that she could have held a faculty position from where she would have shared all that wisdom for eons to come. Academia was not a friendly place in the ’70’s. Yet she continued to encourage others to attain the elusive Ph. D. Gracias Cecilia. We all owe you, love you and miss you.

  17. I sit with a heavy heart after learning about your passing. You were a friend and mentor to so many young people and possessed a roaring inner fire and courage like no person, man or woman, I’ve ever seen! I was humbled, inspired and even a little scared to witness how you spoke truth to power against all odds and put everything on the line to champion equitible access and services on behalf of Chicana/o students and students of color at CSUMB. Recently, in the face of institutional adversity and struggle, I remember telling myself, “Be like Cecilia”, “Fight like her”. I know what courageous leadership looks like, because of you Cecilia. You will live on through your family and through the rest of us who had the honor to know you, love you, and be mentored by you. I promise to honor you through my work. As i sit here typing this message, and through the knot in my throat and in my heart I give thanks to the universe and to you, Gracias Cecilia, Gracias, Gracias.

  18. Cecelia was such a special friend to both my mother and me – spanning the generations. She was a helpful mentor to me in the early days at CSUMB. Touched my heart, warmed my soul and challenged my mind.

  19. Cecilia,

    Mil gracias for your fierce love, your gentle wisdom, and your great courage. You and Tony had room in your hearts and home for everyone who lived and visited Casa Zapata. You never let me off easy, even telling me in the bathroom near El Centro that I had to apply to join the Casa Zapata staff or else you would remind me every time you saw me that I had let you down. Because of bad decision-making on the University’s part, I never got to work under your wing.

    But I have tried not to let you down. I worked as a community organizer in Nicaragua and a domestic violence victim advocate. Now I am a community law attorney, helping victims of domestic violence and tenants who can’t afford a lawyer, as well as a community activist for immigrant rights. You taught me that I could advocate alongside people fighting for their rights, even as a white girl from Northeast cow country. I am so sad that you are gone, but so grateful for the life you lived.

  20. I met Cecilia through her husband Tony. Tony and I were founding members of the comedy troupe Culture Clash. Cecilia had a dry sense of humor which I loved. I truly admired that she was a strong woman. She was very complimentary of my work as a solo artist and encouraged me to continue being a role model to other Latinas. Cecilia you are my role model.

  21. I had the pleasure of being a colleague of Cecilia’s at Stanford. I hope the University has preserved and maintained the beautiful mural drawn by her husband, Tony, with a Civil Rights theme patterned after the Lord’s Supper. It included Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr, and other notables.

  22. Cecilia was our neighbor when she lived in Casa Zapata and she was a respected leader among the Resident Fellows. We are grateful to know that her spirit and memory survive in the many students she helped over the years.

  23. Querida Amiga, ya estas con Tony, nuestro genio loco que tanto nos alegraba cuando nos visitaba en Austin! Both of you are an enduring/endearing part of our glorious movimiento, and part of our feminista battles; how you challenged me to organize Chicanas/Tejanas for the International Women’s Year Conference of 1977; which we did, 600 strong (all voting pro-ERA-YEAAY!), and you, as National Commissioner were so proud of us, and we shared that pride, having you lead the conference. Y cuantos chismes, back and forth, with babies to birth, to raise, and communities to organize! Cuanto hemos gozado todo lo que la vida nos ha ofrecido, y lo tomamos, y lo vencimos, y nunca, nunca nos arrepentimos. Yo siempre te consideré nuestra guerrera en California, y sé que tu sabias que en Texas tenias muchas hermanas feroces igual que tú. Cuanto gozamos el año pasado, cuando con Maria y Linda y sus estudiantes, te entrevistamos una vez mas, para tener tus pensamientos sobre el movimiento, el feminismo, nuestras relaciones familiares, y de la comunidad. Qué maravilla de vida has tenido, y gracias por compartirla con nosotros en tu casa.

    Mas que todo, te agradezco lo linda que fuistes con mi hija Maria Eugenia, lo que la animastes como a todos tus estudiantes, hijos y hijas todos en Stanford. Mi hija, toda una doctora catedratica hoy, gracias a tus atenciones, te adora, igual que mi esposo y yo; y nunca, nunca dejaremos de recordate a tí y a tu toño, nuestros hermanitos. Nos duele mucho que tu familia sufra tu ausencia igual que nosotros, pero tambien sabemos que los guerreros como ustedes nunca nos dejan solos en la LUCHA! Te quiere y nunca te olvida tu amiga de siempre, Martha Cotera

  24. Cecilia Preciado Burciaga

    Cecilia Preciado Burciaga

    Voz Valiente

    Corazón del Pueblo Chicano

    Corazon Ardiente

    Voz de la Justicia

    Luchadora de Muchas Batallas

    Chicana de Corazón.

    Por tu Lucha

    Por tu Amor

    Por tu Compación

    Por tus Enseñazas

    Tenemos un Mundo Mejor

    Cecilia Preciado Burciaga

    ! PRESENTE !

    Cecilia Preciado Burciaga

    ! PRESENTE !

    Cecilia Preciado Burciaga

    ! PRESENTE !

    Cecilia Preciado Burciaga

    !Que Dios te Bendiga Siempre!

    Copyright 2013, José-Luis Orozco

  25. My deepest prayers of comfort to all of you.

    I have such strong respect for Cecilia. I met her while working at California State University, Monterey Bay. I later relocated to Stanford University, when people found out I was from CSUMB all I would hear was do you know Cecilia, and proudly I would say yes.
    I am proud to say what a wonderful person, humanitarian, colleague and friend.

    My Lord comfort and keep each of you.

  26. Cecilia – you were a remarkable woman and I feel so honored to have known you. You were a passionate advocate for many communities – your were a powerful ally to the LGBT community at Stanford in many difficult situations in the 90s. You touched so many. We are all indebted to you.

  27. My deepest sympathy to la familia.
    Cecilia, mujer warrior…Thank you for your family, your legacy, and the many footprints you leave in our comunidades. You opened the path for so many…your memory lives on.

  28. How sudden, I felt to start working on my dissertation and discover information on a true Latina Pioneer to realize that such individual has left us. I hope with my work I can make her smile in heaven. Never met you but your legacy shall continue!

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