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Ceres mourns loss of Sally Estrada, long-time city employee
Sudden diagnosis of cancer takes her life
Sally Estrada dies
Long-time city of Ceres employee Sally Estrada gained the respect of many during her decades of service in the Police Department and Engineering Division.

The community of Ceres is mourning the death of Sally Estrada, a long-time Ceres Police and city employee who worked tirelessly through the decades and earned the respect of many.

Estrada, 65, was recently diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer which quickly took her life.

 “We just can’t believe it,” said Shelia Brandt whose husband Lee worked for the city of Ceres for 17 years. “Sally Estrada was a sweetheart. She had the most awesome smile.”

“It’s just a tremendous loss,” said Eileen Stokman who formed a bond with Estrada when their children were grieving the loss of shared classmate Jessica Solis, 12, in 2005.

“She was lovely inside and out. She always had a radiant smile and always very helpful. A warm person and I know she had a great sense of humor because her son is a filmmaker/comic.”

Estrada retired from the city in November 2022. Before coming to work for the city, Estrada worked as a teller at the McHenry Avenue branch of Bank of America in Modesto. She began working as a records clerk with the Ceres Police Department before serving as a Community Service Officer and the Detective Bureau secretary. In July 2010 she left the Police Department to work part-time as the city’s Engineering Division secretary.

“We just hit it off from day one,” said Ann Montgomery, one of her co-workers at City Hall. “She was very helpful and of course she did the Spanish translation here at the counter at the annex building here. She was a great asset.”

Bonnie Silveira, who worked with Sally for years at City Hall, “loved her smile and her upbeat personality. Wonderful memories I have of her. So sad.”

Renee Ledbetter said Estrada remained engaged in the community where she lived and worked.

“Every time I saw her when I went into the city she was always so cheerful and helpful and smiling and just an overall kind person,” said Ledbetter. “It was disheartening to hear the news about her because she was just a great person.”

Ceres Police Chief Chris Perry remembers that Estrada was on staff when he was introduced to local law enforcement as a 16-year-old police explorer scout.

“She was a really nice lady and got along with everyone,” commented the chief.

Estrada’s sudden cancer diagnosis and death came as a shock to those who knew her to live a healthy lifestyle. She would take a stroll through downtown Ceres during work breaks just to get the exercise.

According to Montgomery, Sally’s son Adolph, who is a nurse at Doctors Medical Center, advised his mom to seek medical attention after she visited son Austin in New York this spring and returned with a cough that she couldn’t shake. She underwent cancer treatments at Stanford Medical Center.

Estrada leaves behind loved ones that include husband Adolph Estrada of Ceres; and her two sons, Adolph and Austin; and two grandchildren.