DALLAS — Dallas County Commissioners Court recognized Lupe Hernandez Perez in her 100th year of life celebration. On Tuesday, Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia presented a resolution to celebrate Hernandez Perez.
Hernandez Perez, a mother of seven with 15 grandkids and 12 great grandkids, was born in Dallas County on Aug. 19, 1920 out “in the country” said her daughter Debbie Valdez.
Hernandez Perez grew up in Los Altos barrio in West Dallas and her childhood home still stands on Singleton.
“She’s got a lot of history and is always telling us stories of what it used to be like,” said Valdez, 69.
Hernandez Perez has lived through the polio epidemic, the Great Depression and World War II. She has beat cancer, overcome a broken leg and a broken hip -- she’s a fighter, Valdez said. Her daughter adds that it wasn’t until the last few years or so that she’s slowed down a bit, but she drove until she was 90 and continues to stay active by gardening and cooking.
Hernandez Perez has told her family she does not feel or believe she is 100.
“My mom loves to talk to people when they’re around, and I think that’s what has kept her young,” said Valdez.
The family had plans to throw a big party but due to COVID-19, they are taking precautions and decided to hold a drive-by celebration.
Family and friends from the old barrio took part Wednesday night in the celebration in East Dallas.
Hernandez Perez has lived most of her life in Dallas except for a brief part in San Antonio, where her first husband Ray Carrillo was stationed.
The family later returned to Dallas and lived in Little Mexico next to Pike Park in Uptown. Valdez has fond memories of living in Little Mexico.
"It would get hot inside the apartment because there was no air conditioning and we would sleep outside, it was so safe," Valdez said.
The 100-year-old and her second husband Gabriel Perez moved to East Dallas and have been there for over four decades. The two have been married for 62 years.
Valdez said her family is blessed to be able to celebrate another year of life with their mother and she joked she's grateful for her mother’s genes.
“I have to thank my mom for passing the dancing gene to us, we all love to dance,” said Valdez.
Lucinda Perez told commissioners Tuesday she hopes to continue to have her mother for another 15 years and believes they will because “she is a strong fighter never gives up”.