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Ramona Frias and Della Ortega
Women outside San Fernando studio
Lucy Fonseca (left), Ramona Fonseca (later Frias), and Annie Madalena (right) seated outside of Moore Studio, a portrait studio on Celis Street in San Fernando.
Aztecas baseball team
Group portrait of the Aztecas, a girls’ baseball team based in Pacoima, with their manager. Della Fonseca (later Ortega) is standing, second from right.

Della Fonseca Ortega (1920-2014) and Ramona Fonseca Frias (1927-2004) were sisters descended from one of the original eleven families who established the El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles in 1781. Their family was also one of the earliest to settle in the city of San Fernando, which is where the sisters grew up. Their parents divorced in 1935, so their mother obtained employment at a local cannery to support the family, which included two sons and four daughters. Because of the family’s financial struggles, Della had to work and was unable to graduate high school, but Ramona did, in 1946. Both sisters were employed at a local sewing factory, and all of the family, except Ramona, worked in defense plants such as Lockheed during WWII. Both were active in the community, belonging to local clubs, and Della also worked for the local election board.

Ramona & Della's Oral History Interview