Ernestine "Tina" Ursich former Star-Kist employee and local property owner
SCROLL DOWN FOR AUDIO CLIPS
TINA URSICH WAS BORN IN LOS ANGELES IN 1925. She is Mexican American and grew up in Wilmington's Spanish speaking community. Her father was laborer and her mother worked on and off at the Terminal Island Canneries and also invested in property in Wilmington. During World War II, when her father was unable to find work, he moved the family to a small farm in Torrance. The family grew vegetables to sell at wholesale markets. As young teenagers, Tina and her sister were responsible for driving the produce truck from Torrance down to the harbor for daily markets. After the war, the family moved back to their property in Wilmington and Tina started working on the cleaning floor at Star-Kist, then French Sardine.
Tina married young and had a troubled first marriage. She met her second husband at Star-Kist. He was a lead foreman on the cooking floor and popular in social circles. When Tina and her husband began to date, his strongly Croatian parents did not immediately welcome a Mexican woman into their family. The couple waited many years before marrying, which they did in 1983. Despite cultural differences at the beginning of their relationship, Tina is clear that relatives on both sides now are all one San Pedro family.
Tina has invested in rental properties for many years. She attributes her business saavy to her mother. As a single woman in properties management she met with some obstacles, but as she persevered, she was accepted in the business community.