Passed Away On: October 13, 2022

Elias Telles Espinoza was born on December 11, 1931, in Decoto, California (Union City, California) and passed away on October 13, 2022.

He was born to Ponciano and Frances Espinoza on a cold Winter Day while their church members prayed for a safe delivery. Elias grew up in the small town of Madera, California. One of seven children along with his brothers; Frank, Moses and John, and sisters; Salome, Annie and Eva grew up in Madera and spent his formative years there attending local schools while helping his family by working in the fields and for anyone who could use a helping hand. Elias was raised in the Church of God of Prophecy and the son of Pastor. He was raised in a strict and loving Christian home. His mother Frances was someone extremely special to Elias. He always said that she was a great example of love. Elias himself would also become a great example of love to all who knew him. Elias also loved music. He was founder of the still existent and popular band “The Niteliters”. Elias played many instruments including the saxophone, guitar, drums, bass and was famously known for his beautiful singing voice.

Elias met someone very special in 1951. He was assisting with music for a church service in a small town called Saticoy, California. In preparation for the evening service, he needed a piano player. He was told that the woman who lived next to the church had a daughter who played but he would need her permission. It was there in Saticoy, CA that we would meet his future wife and life partner Concha “Connie” Morales. They were married on November 30, 1951. They were not only married but best friends. They had four beautiful children Angel Elias, Robert Ray, Michelle and Connie Valerie. Family above all was Elias’s greatest accomplishment in his life. He often spoke of how proud and how much he loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Elias was a hardworking man who loved providing for his family. He worked at National Fiberglass in Gilroy for many years. He also was the founder and Lead singer of “The Niteliters” band. He enjoyed the music world and the many friends and memories he made with his one and only duet partner, his wife, Connie. They were sought after to sing for many local events, weddings, and parties. The job that Elias would be locally known for is his business at 439 San Benito Street (Main Street). He was the proud business owner of Espinoza Shoe Repair.

He was a pillar of downtown Hollister in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s. He not only repaired shoes but some “souls” too.  You were given great hospitality and a cup of coffee at the shoe shop. Elias was known for his listening ear, great advice and constant prayers to all who knew him. His grandchildren loved his shoe shop. Each time one of his grandchildren stopped by them were always treated to an ice cream and special time with Papa Leo. After he closed his shoe shop in 2001, he was employed by “Jovenes de Antano”. He enjoyed his work there delivering meals to the local elderly community and enjoyed every minute by helping others.

An event that took place every year since 1978 that was very near to Elias’ heart was the

“Espinoza Family Reunion” Elias was a Pillar and one of the founding organizers of this important family event that takes place every year. He loved that most reunions and eventually all would take place in Hollister, California. His children and grandchildren would always help to get the RV ready for 3 days of camping and family memories. He loved his family above all. He always helped in any way he could and would go out his way to if needed. He will be remembered for his kind, caring, loving and giving heart and he will never be forgotten.

He will be dearly missed by his wife Concha “Connie”, son, Angel Elias (Heavenly Residence), son, Robert Ray (Sally), daughter, Michelle (Scott), and daughter Connie Valerie (Martin), his grandchildren Robert, Sonya, Jacqueline, Angel, Abram, Anietra, Bettina, Damian, Yvonne, Jasmine, Alexis, Cole and Linda-Marie.


Viewing and service to be held at Black-Cooper-Sander, 363 7th St.
Hollister, California 95023

Wednesday, October 26: Viewing 2 – 6 p.m. Service 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, October 27: 9 -11 a.m. Viewing


Viewing, Procession & Burial Service: IOOF cemetery, 600 Buena Vista Rd, Hollister, CA 95023

Thursday, October 27: Procession to cemetery to begin at 11:15 a.m. from Black-Cooper-Sander