Maurice A. Calderon, who was the first Hispanic to serve on the Banning school district board and has a street named after his family in the town, died on Jan. 10, 2023, at his home in Redlands. He was 81.
Born in Banning on April 4, 1941, to Fabian and Nettie Calderon, he graduated from Banning High School in 1959 where he met future wife, Dorothy Rivera.
They married in 1960 and spent nearly 63 years together. They had two children Maurice Jr. and Racquel and Mona Esquivel Estrada who they raised as a daughter.
He earned a degree from Mount San Jacinto College with honors and certificates from the University of Georgia and Indiana University in Savings and Loan Graduate programs.
In 1968, at the age of 27 he was the first Hispanic to become an elected school board member in Banning, where he served for nine years.
He served another nine years as a trustee on the Mount San Jacinto Community College District. A street in Banning, “Calderon Way” is named in his family’s honor and serves as a symbol of their service to the community.
He established the Inland Empire Hispanic Leadership Council in 2007.
He was a member of the African American Chambers of Commerce, board of trustees of the University of California, Riverside Foundation and the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation. He was director of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, president of Sinfonia Mexicana and chairman emeritus of the Inland Empire Hispanic Leadership Council.
In 2008, he received the Sinfonia Mexicana Award for Service for serving as president and the Esperanza Award from the California Chicano News Media Association.
He is survived by his wife, son Maurice Jr. and his wife Julie, daughter Racquel and her husband James Arden, Mona and her husband Rick Estrada; five grandchildren, Briana Jesica, Allison, Christian, Manny Estrada; four great-grandchildren, Hazel, Maverick, Magnolia; and Beckham; brother Cookie Calderon and his wife Marie; aunt Angie Sanchez and many nephews, nieces, cousins, and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his brother Stanley Calderon.
A celebration of life will be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Emmerson-Bartlett Memorial Chapel in Redlands. A mass will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb 4, at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church on Olive Avenue followed by burial at Montecito Memorial Park in Colton.