Juanita Pineda Herrera was born December 15, 1924 in Santa Barbara, CA to Felisa Cruz and Hilario Pineda and passed into eternal rest on November 3, 2020. For the past 3 years she resided at Carmel Village Retirement Center in Fountain Valley, CA.
She graduated from Santa Barbara High School. Juanita, known as Jennie, married Jerry Herrera a farm labor contractor in the Central Coast and Imperial Valley. In the fields she drove tractors and trucks for her husband’s operations. During WWII she drove staff cars for General Kratz in Santa Barbara and later become his personal chauffer.
As a licensed school bus driver and state certified instructor she drove school buses for Associated Bus Company and was a supervisor of school buses in Santa Barbara. With husband Jerry, who was known to everyone as Daddie, taught bi-lingual drivers education. She was awarded Business Woman of the year by the American Business Women’s Association.
In the 1960’s she and Daddie operated a produce stand and taco shop on Santa Claus Lane in what is now the Padero Beach Grill property in Carpinteria.
During the 1970’s she and Daddie worked in the catering industry in Santa Barbara and Montecito. She became well known for her enchiladas and eventually they ran their own catering business with a clientele of movie stars living in the area.
She and Daddie relocated to San Diego where she was employed by the California Highway Patrol for over 14 years as School Pupil Transportation Safety Coordinator for the El Cajon area of Southern California. She was a graduate of the CHP Academy in Sacramento.
She was preceded in death by husband, Jerry, daughters Geraldine Herrera and Margaret Bass. She is survived by sons Henry, Robert and Jerry, daughters Virginia Guido, Genevieve Carranza and Violet Moreli. She has 24 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
We will never forget her smile.
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