Velasco was born in Yahualica de González Gallo, Jalisco, Mexico, on 12 May 1901. She grew up in Coahuila. Her father was a shoemaker. She was the youngest of five children.
In the 1920s, she moved to the USA with her family. They had fled civil unrest at the end of the Mexican Revolution, witnessing the last battle between followers of Pancho Villa and the government Federales in Ciudad Juárez as they crossed the border. They spent three years in El Paso and they later moved to California and settled in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. She first worked at the California Fruit Packing Company but that was only seasonal work, so she then moved to the California Candy Company commuting from San Francisco to Oakland.
In 1928, she married Salvador Velasco Ruiz and they had two children, Josephine and Rosemarie. During World War II, Velasco and her husband opened a restaurant in Oakland. They sold the business after three years and opened another restaurant.
When asked about her key to aging well, she said, “Be happy”.
Velasco died on the morning of Sunday, 11 October 2015 at her home in Las Posada de Colores, Fruitvale district of Oakland, California at the age of 114 years, 152 days.