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  Obituary:Margarita (Maggie) Raquel Gutierrez

Margarita (Maggie) Raquel Gutierrez
September 24, 1988 - October 26, 2014

que pronto fue tu partida,
aunque mis ojos se cubran de llanto,
quedan los recuerdos que el tiempo
jamás podrá borrar.
cuanto te amo, cuanto te extraño …


From birth, Maggie defied expectations. In line with the Gutierrez tradition, most expected another boy. But Maggie never followed tradition. On September 24, 1988, Margarita Raquel Gutierrez opened her bright blue eyes to a world of possibility. When she wasn't singing "Barney songs" and "itsy bitsy spider", she loved reading. Her enthusiasm infected her whole family, especially while she watched "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast".

She was the baby in a big family, but don't dare call her "baby". The youngest of three boys, she quickly figured out how to boss around her brothers. Even when it came to sports, she directed the family games. Forever persistent and center of attention, Maggie always acted older than her age. She knew how to start trouble and bring people back together again. In all her fights, she always knew how to win.
As our family grew bigger with three sisters, she became the bridge who brought everyone together. But she never forgot how to boss around her new family. If one of her siblings didn't do what she wanted, she found someone else. And if that didn't work, she could always win over her Papi.

In her teen years, Maggie's love for sports, dancing, and people blossomed. Her passion for living and loving life grew. She had her own individual style with little care for what others thought. She always knew what she wanted. For this reason, her loyal friends and loving family were drawn to her passion for making the most of life.
She would always love to play with her two nieces, Isabella (aka Bella) Gutierrez-Baioni and Eva Scarlett Johnson. Even as a Tia, she still enjoyed watching "Beauty and the Beast" with them. She loved her nieces dearly and planned to have her own children one day. But first, she wanted a career where she could provide for her family while helping others.

Maggie graduated from Skyline College in 2009 with an Associates in Natural Sciences. At Skyline College, she was a member of the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Center, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Latin American Student Organization. She transferred to UC Santa Cruz as a recipient of the 2009 Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Award Scholarship. Maggie graduated from UC Santa Cruz on June 2011 with a Bachelors of Science, Health Sciences. She was a member of the Pre-Med sorority Kappa Gamma Delta.

Upon completion of her studies, Maggie pursued her passion in the medical field through several different internships and work opportunities. From 2010-2011, Maggie was a student intern at the Healthy Ambassador Program where she mentored in medicine by participating in and conducting health workshops to elementary through high school students. In 2012, she volunteered at Shanti where she provided peer support and one-on-one companionship to breast cancer patients. From 2012-2013, Maggie interned at the San Francisco General Hospital general medicine clinic where she increased the number of annual pain assessments among patients on treatment agreements for chronic opioids by managing and maintaining pain registry. Later on, she worked as an outreach/linkage coordinator at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Latino Programs where she supervised outreach staff, coordinated workshops and activities specific to HIV, STD'S and sexual health and recruited at risk Latino youth for HIV testing. Simultaneously, Maggie worked as a health promoter at the SF AIDS Foundation where she facilitated workshops to the local community centers, targeting Latino youth; she recruited, educated and outreached to peers providing them with linkage to resources to aid them in raising their awareness on the importance of HIV and sexual health awareness, and assisted the support groups and classes offered by the SFAF Latino Programs.

Maggie's passion for helping people continued through her position as a certified outreach educator for Covered California where she reached close to 1,500 people. In 2013, she began to work for the University of California, San Francisco as a Clinical Research Coordinator where she organized the pre and post-development of medical trials to ensure that the population demographics being used in the studies would yield success. In collaboration with the Mexican Consulate and the SF AIDS foundation, Maggie served as the secretary of the Bi-National Health Week, an event sponsored by the Mexican Government and U.S Mexican consulates to bring access and education to fragile immigrant communities who need linkage to care.

Additionally, she worked as a case manager for the Latino Programs at the SFAF where she continued to serve the most marginalized LGBTQ San Francisco populations by collaborating with local mental health care professionals and outside agencies in the development, implementation, and evaluation of client treatment plans.
Maggie's drive, passion and determination to help others continued through her involvement in extra work activities. In 2012, she traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico as a health promoter for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation where she helped educate indigenous communities on HIV prevention. In 2013, she traveled to Zacatecas, Mexico where she contributed with the Mexican Department of Health in training staff on HIV prevention and linkage to care. Her last presentation was a few weeks ago on October 3, 2014 where she presented on the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Latino Community at the Unites States Conference on AIDS, in San Diego, CA. Maggie's commitment and influence extended far and wide through different media channels such as Univision and KIQI and KATD where she attended periodically to educate the community on HIV prevention.

Maggie's selfless nature pushed her to pursue her ambitions to help others by furthering her career in the medical field. She was in the process of studying for the MCAT exam and was due to take it on January 2015.

In her short life, Maggie impacted the lives of many through her many accomplishments and determination to make a difference. Her caring spirit is what kept her surrounded by loyal friends and her loving family.
Maggie, our beautiful, independent, thriving, sweet, thoughtful, silly, daring, caring, loving, tenacious little woman. Your only mistake was leaving a huge trail of love in our lives that could never be undone or erased. Our sweet, little Maggie, we will always be so proud of you. You left an imprint in each of our hearts that will keep your spirit alive forever.

Maggie is survived by her parents, Jose Guadalupe Gutierrez and Margarita Gutierrez, Mary Ellen Young, her grandparents, Jose Guadalupe Gutierrez Sr. and Margarita Gutierrez Montoya, her brothers and sisters, Gabriel Gutierrez, Monica Gutierrez, Alejandro Gutierrez, Vanessa Gutierrez, Julio Gutierrez and Pamela Johnson-Gutierrez and her nieces, Bella Guadalupe Gutierrez and Eva Scarlett Johnson.

"I think I would want people to remember me as someone positive, and as a person who was persistent and never gave up on her dreams." Margarita (Maggie) Raquel Gutierrez, September 24, 1988- October 26, 2014

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