Alex Lagunas Maldonado

Alex Lagunas Maldonado

July 17, 1923 - May 25, 2018
San Clemente CA

Alex Lagunas Maldonado

July 17, 1923 - May 25, 2018
San Clemente CA


Alex Lagunas Maldonado, age 94, of San Clemente, California died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on May 25, 2018.

Alex was born on July 17, 1923 in Santa Ana, California to Julio and Nellie (Lagunas) Maldonado. He and his six siblings eventually were raised in El Modena, California.

In his youth, Alex attended the Westminster School, which was a segregated school that became the focus of the desegregation case Mendez v. Westminster in California. In 1946, Alex co-founded the Santa Ana chapter of the civil rights organization LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) where he actively raised funds for the Mendez case.

Serving as the president of the El Modena Community League and campaigning for the school board trustee of the El Modena Elementary School District, Alex helped El Modena to become the first school to desegregate in Orange County. In 1949, Alex spoke with Alfred Aguirre to the Placentia Unified School District Board to urge them to stop segregating Mexican American children into separate grammar schools. They eventually did so under threat of a lawsuit similar to the Mendez lawsuit. He also helped to start the Placentia LULAC Council in 1950.

From 1952 to 1953, Alex served as the Santa Ana LULAC President, as well as an organizer. The following year he served as its District Director. Alex received the Award of Merit for Outstanding Services to LULAC in 1954 and 1955.

Prior to his marriage to Nellie K. Juarez in 1952, Alex began his 37-year career as a truck driver. He started working for the Orange County distributor of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer; while the majority of his employment was spent working for the Orange County distributor of Anheuser-Busch. The couple eventually moved to Anaheim where they raised their family, which was the main focus of Alex’s life. It gave him great joy to spend time with his children and to play with his grandchildren. He was especially delighted on becoming a great grandfather.

Alex is preceded in death by his wife Nellie, his two sons Alexander Paul and Mark David, and five siblings.  He is survived by his daughter Sandy Maldonado Wright (Michael); son Jim Maldonado (Brent); grandson Brian Wright; granddaughter Lauren Wright Smetona (Joe); great grandchildren Luke and Amie Smetona; sister Jennie Guzman; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Alex’s life will take place on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 2 pm at San Clemente Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Alex’s name to Anaheim LULAC #2848 and designated for Scholarships at the bottom. Mail checks to: Lee Baldonado, LULAC Treasurer, 299 N. Spruce Drive, Anaheim, CA 92805.


Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: June 30, 2018 (2:00 PM)
  • Venue: San Clemente Presbyterian Church
  • Location: 119 Avenida De La Estrella San Clemente, CA 92672 - (Get Directions)

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