By Gail Powell
Mourners filled Sacred Heart Church in Ocean Beach on Friday morning, October 28th, to pay their respects to a beloved local lady named Luisa Allen.
Many regulars who enjoy eating at Nati’s Mexican restaurant on Bacon Street have most likely made the acquaintance of this longtime hostess and waitress. Luisa started out at the popular eatery as a waitress 51 years ago! She always greeted every customer with hospitality and a friendly smile. Luisa remembered the favorite menu items of her patrons and she watched as the babies who enjoyed Nati’s in the womb grew up and became Nati’s regulars themselves with kids of their own.
Luisa was soon to retire and enjoy her many children and grandchildren. But on Wednesday, October 12, she reportedly left a family gathering, saying she did not feel well. The next morning, something was not right. Luisa was taken to the hospital and she passed from a stroke on Saturday, October 15. Co-workers, friends and Nati’s customers were in a state of shock. This wonderful woman was the embodiment of the family restaurant.
Her memorial service filled the pews of Sacred Heart, where Luisa worshiped, and an altar decorated with floral arrangements and a portrait of Luisa brought home the reality of this final farewell. One of Nati’s owners, Dennis Kerr, gave a very moving eulogy that brought many to tears, myself included. After the service, Luisa’s children greeted mourners and later that afternoon, she was laid to final rest at Holy Cross Cemetery.
It is not often that a simple waitress with a sweet disposition brings out such love and devotion in the Ocean Beach community. Luisa Allen was truly a wonderful woman and will be dearly missed by all.