MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
Life Story / Obituary
Mayra Avila-Isidoro danced her way through life with a fierce passion for her family and friends and loved helping others whenever the opportunity presented itself. Everyone will remember Mayra as a carefree, fun-loving, kind, and beautiful person. Gone too soon, Mayra left her footprints on the hearts of her husband, daughters, and countless friends and acquaintances across the globe.
Gorgeous beaches, ancient ruins, volcanos, and impeccable sunsets bring both young and old to witness all that Mexico has to offer. No one was prouder to take in the awe and wonder her country than Mayra Avila-Isidoro. Born on February 23, 1983, in Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico to Genaro Sanchez and Victorina Bravo, she grew up in the village Tlatempan, Tlaxcala with her home overlooking a valley with a volcano. From the hilltop she could see for countless miles. As a very active and fun-loving child, she enjoyed learning. Despite leaving school early to work and support her family, she was incredibly intelligent and persevered to find success.
Mayra met her husband, Doroteo Jojola Bargas, in 2003 while he was on a trip to visit friends in Mexico. While out for a walk, D.J. spotted her on the hilltop by her home, the sun rising perfectly behind her. Mayra happened to be friends with the family D.J. was visiting and he was attracted to her innocence and sweet demeanor. Together, they enjoyed the scenic vista. That evening at a town dance D.J. once again spotted Mayra as her beauty stood out in a crowd of people.
Slowly, the couple began getting to know each other. D.J. didn’t speak much Spanish and asked Mayra to teach him. She was ever so patient and of course encouraged him in this endeavor. She later learned English as well, but one thing spoke for itself were the many sunsets they watched together over the valleys and mountains of Mayra’s hometown.
Long distance relationships can be difficult, but somehow Mayra and D.J. always made it work. The couple had their first daughter, Esmeralda, and she instantly became the light of their lives. Living with Mayra, Esmeralda was her number one priority in life. The day of her daughter’s baptism was one of the proudest days for Mayra; she held a special party after the baptism to celebrate the occasion. D.J. always faithfully supported his young family despite the distance.
During these early years of motherhood, education was important to Mayra. She introduced her daughter to many experiences, classes, and skills from hula dancing to cooking, and many more. She also provided for Esmeralda’s private education, befriended many in the educational system, and even campaigned for the President of their town. Mayra also went back to school herself to learn how to be a seamstress and later started her own business. She eventually turned this goal into a reality and all her employees adored her. Always so kind and willing to teach them, Mayra was a great role model to all those working for her.
Mayra and Esmeralda lived happily and carefree in Mexico. Learning to dance changed Mayra’s life, and she came to care about dancing more than anything else. She danced competitively, and never allowed anything to get her down—always dancing with such passion, effortlessly.
After eight long years, Mayra was finally able to marry D.J. and come to the U.S. in 2012. The couple had been working towards this for many years and it proved quite the challenge to navigate. Mayra was incredibly proud having accomplished this goal and to become a U.S. Citizen. Mayra returned to school to learn English after arriving in the U.S., but having never left her own little town prior to this point made her new life in a strange country difficult. With the support of D.J., she embraced it with her signature passion and set out to experience all that life had to offer.
The couple first lived in the San Francisco Bay area where they entered into the cannabis business, growing for a cannabis seed company for medical patients. Mayra did her own research and became an advocate for change in the medical community, supporting cannabis and other alternative medicines for cancer treatments. She is known worldwide for her contributions helping people with this terrible disease. Those suffering from cancer always held a piece of Mayra’s heart, and her passion was to help those in need. While living in San Francisco, D.J. also introduced Mayra to barbeque and American cuisine, which she found delightfully delicious.
While Mayra enjoyed living in the city, going to the museums, beaches, sunsets, and always finding something fun to do at night with her family, she craved scenery that resembled her beloved Mexico. So, Mayra and her family moved to northern California to Willits. The small town made things feel like “home” again, which Mayra absolutely loved. She finally got her first car and learned how to drive, but since the area was so mountainous, they stuck to flat roads at first, driving through the forests filled with Redwood trees. Any travel that Mayra and her family embarked on was usually related to the cannabis business, but they always made sure to drive everywhere and take the scenic route on every trip, stopping for pictures whenever they could.
Before moving to Michigan, the couple lived in Eugene, Oregon where they explored everything the city had to offer while looking for a place to live. On their way to Michigan, they enjoyed the sights of the Western United States and especially enjoyed Theodore Roosevelt National Park. In 2015 they found a new home in Michigan. Many people were drawn to Mayra’s kindness and their friendship helped Mayra persevere and establish a new home. She always continued to grow her business and support her family both in Michigan and in Mexico, building a beautiful home there for her family. In 2018, Mayra and D.J. welcomed their second daughter, Nicole.
Mayra enjoyed traveling to quite a few iconic Michigan locations: the Mackinac Bridge, the Tunnel of Trees, and Frankenmuth where they enjoyed the Bavarian Inn. Wherever the couple travelled, the trip was accented by awe, natural wonder, and simple pleasures. One memorable trip was watching the sunrise at Port Austin on Lake Huron and seeing the sunset at Tunnel Park on Lake Michigan. This was a memorable day of beauty, togetherness and visiting of friends.
While in Mexico on a trip with her family, she discovered an illness. After returning to the U.S. she was diagnosed with leo mayo sarcoma and given only a short time to live. She faced her diagnosis with courage and strength and with the support of her family and cannabis treatments, she survived far longer than most with such a rare, aggressive condition. She continued to enjoy life as much as possible, and danced every day she could.
All those who were lucky enough to know Mayra could agree that she was a beautiful person inside and out. Innocent, kind, loyal, and loving, Mayra would do anything for her family and anyone in need. She brought joy to so many people and naturally befriended anyone. Her willingness to adapt to her environment and succeed no matter the challenge, while always taking in the beauty of the world around her while dancing and the people she was with, serves as a reminder of how wonderful and loving she truly was.
Mayra Aide Avila-Isidoro, age 38, died on July 19, 2021. Mayra was born February 23, 1983 in Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico. Surviving are her husband, D.J. Bargas, and 2 daughters: Esmeralda and Nicole. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 AM Wednesday (JULY 28) at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 936 Lake St., Kalamazoo with visitation 30 minutes prior. Burial will take place in Mexico. Visit Mayra’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.