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Julia (Hernandez) Cruz

May 26, 1944 ~ February 7, 2018 (age 73)

A celebration of life service will be 7 p.m. Monday, February 12th Pentecostal Church of God I.M in Des Moines.  A visitation will begin one hour prior to services at the church.  Burial will be in Elm Grove Cemetery at 1 p.m. Tuesday, February 13th in Des Moines.

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Julia's Life Story

Julia (Hernandez) Cruz, the daughter of Maria Hernandez was born on May 26th, 1944 in Chihuahua, Mexico. Julia grew up in a small farmland community where she worked as a cook and as an excavator driver. One of her biggest projects that she was involved in was the making of a “man-made” lake called “La Presa” which was a blessing to the community. The lake’s job was to bring water to the farmland. She married at a young age to Francisco Arenales. To this union they had five children, Rosalia, Maria Estela, Benjamin, Nellie, and Armando. Tragically, Julia’s husband Francisco was murdered in Mexico leaving her a young widow of five children.

In the 1970’s Julia decided to make the journey to El Paso Texas for a better life for her and her children. She worked as a waitress while raising her kids in the city of El Paso. She met and then married the love of her life, Aurelio Cruz in 1978. To this union they had three children, Mary and Victor whom are fraternal twins and David. Julia was member of a church in El Paso by the name of Iglesia Trinidad Pentecostal. She was also involved in the community around 1981 with a group called “Mujer Obrera”. Julia was one of the first founding members involved in this organization which included garment workers and Chicana activists. Julia’s job included developing strategies based on basic human rights: employment, housing, education, nutrition, health, peace, and political liberty.

In 1993, Julia moved with her children to Lenox, Iowa due to a job opportunity at Papetti's of Iowa where she was a packer. During this time, Julia’s husband had passed leaving her a widow. Julia was well known in the community in Lenox and was always known as “Mom”. Throughout her journey in life, she actually was a Mother to all and welcomed anyone from all walks of life with open arms. Her grace abounded pass any situation which allowed her own children and others to be able to count on a Mother’s love to get them through the trials and tribulations of life.

In 2010, Julia moved to Des Moines to be closer to her children who had moved into the major city. Julia was a Woman of Faith since her childhood and found a home with Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal M.I. Salem. During that time, Julia moved in with her daughter Mary due to declining health. After a journey of failing health, Julia went to be with the Lord on Wednesday afternoon, February 7th, 2018 surrounded by her family. Julia was preceded in death by her mother Maria and her children Rosalia, Francisco and Manuel. Julia is survived by her 8 children, 22 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

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