Josephine Diaz

Obituary of Josephine Espinoza Diaz

Josephine “Jossie” Espinosa Diaz was born in Fresno, CA to a third generation Mexican-American family. Her mother, Carmen Espinosa, cooked and served migrants who were part of the Bracero Program in the 1940s and ’50s. The family moved with the crops during the seasons throughout California in towns like Delano, Coalinga and Tulare. Her dad, Joe Espinosa, worked and drove trucks for the produce companies. They settled in Castroville, CA with her two sisters, Mary Lou and Mary Ellen, where she went to North Salinas High. She was one of the Artichoke Festival queens in her teens. She was about to join the Navy after high school when she met Dean Diaz at a James Brown dance at the armory in Salinas, CA. They danced for the first time and fell in love. Dean had just gotten out of the Navy and, as fate would have it, they hit it off. He had just seen her the day before at Hartnell College and was taken aback. There was his chance and a friend introduced him. Dean and Jossie were married in 1963.

They then opened a Mexican restaurant, Plaza Linda, with Dean’s parents, Dean Sr. and Jennie Diaz in Carmel Valley Village and lived in Robles Del Rio from 1963 to 2005. They had the Plaza Linda for 44 years and sold it in 2007. Her incredible recipes satisfied local families, friends, tourists and even notable stars like Joan Baez and The Beatles, Doris Day and Joan Fontaine. Jossie and Dean were blessed to travel by car, planes, trains and a tandem bike around the world and the USA. Going to Europe multiple times, Egypt, Bahamas, Mexico and Israel and took many road trips around the USA. Many friends tell us how many times they saw Jossie and Dean dancing at festivals, nightclubs, restaurants and wherever there was live music. Friends even saw them dancing outside their convertible Mustang (with the top always down) once on the side of Carmel Valley Road. They never stopped dancing since that James Brown show.

Jossie and Dean called Monterey home and lived in San Diego for four years to be close to their granddaughter, Gizelle; son, Rene, and his wife, Masuda. Since 2009 she also helped her son, Rob, with his Cafe on The Presidio Army Base in Monterey. She loved watching cooking shows, gardening and spending time with family and friends. Her love of life, prayer, traveling, dancing, cooking, and hard work is a blessing to all of us. Her calm, loving, beauty and strength is what guided our family to be who we are today. She will be missed but celebrated forever.

Service and Celebration of life are set for 10 a.m. Friday, May 12, 2023, at San Carlos Cathedral, Monterey, CA. 

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO  Dean Diaz & Family 1401 Via Isola - Monterey, CA 93940

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10:00 am - 11:00 am
Friday, May 12, 2023
San Carlos Cathedral
500 Church Street
Monterey, California, United States
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