Poncio Córdova Cuadra
1 octubre , 1927 – 17 febrero , 2021
On February 17, 2021, Poncio Córdova Cuadra, our beloved patriarch, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away at the age of 93 at Hospital de Damas in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Poncio was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, having lived in Illinois, South Carolina, and Ponce, PR. He lived a long and happy life and was able to enjoy watching three generations of his family flourish.
Poncio is now reunited with his beloved wife of 56 years, Margarita, who passed away in 2012 and whom he missed dearly. Poncio is survived by his children Ivelisse, Melvin (Nilsa), Hector (Maria), David, Sonia (Rafael), his nine grandchildren, and 10 greatgrandchildren. Also in grief are his numerous relatives and friends.
Dad was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, the fourth of nine children of Eduviges and Isabel. The family heritage can be traced back to his 3rd great-grandparents who came from Reino de Galicia, Spain in the mid-1700s. Dad grew up during the Great Depression, life was difficult and the family was very poor with limited education. Eduviges worked in agriculture, including fruits, vegetables, sugar cane, tobacco, chickens, pigs, and fishing. Isabel liked to sew and made moonshine. They often bartered for the things they needed. They took siestas on hammocks, cooked outdoors with wood, and the children were often barefooted. As a teenager, dad was sponsored by a family from Spain that owned Mendez Warehouses and they provided for his every need. They pushed dad to finish high school and he became known for dressing very well and adopted high-standard of ethics. During this mentorship, they supported his vocational studies in “Ebanisteria”, or cabinetmaking. He was known and sought after for fine wood projects and even learned to write in beautiful calligraphy.
Dad was the only child to carry the last name Córdova to future generations and the only one to finish high school. Seeking to explore opportunities, he joined the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He served over two years and was discharged with medical disability for a service-connected injury to his right arm. After his military service, dad returned to Puerto Rico, but having experienced better opportunities abroad he decided to move to Chicago. In 1956 he met and married our mother Margarita in Chicago. In 1962 after having three children, our parents decided to move back to PR because they considered it a better place to raise kids and wanted to be closer to extended family, which they treasured.
Dad earned close to minimum wage, often worked two jobs, we lived in low-income neighborhoods, but we received a great education and Christian values attending parochial schools. This was only possible because our cousin Alicia is a nun and my father received the opportunity to make greatly reduced tuition payments by assisting in volunteer work (back to barter). While dad worked, mom raised the kids and strongly enforced education to make sure future generations had a brighter future and contribute in a positive manner to the community.
Dad learned strict discipline in the USMC and that was applied at home daily! The courage and commitment to always do the right thing was ingrained in every child’s brain. Also, do the best that you can on everything that you do, or don’t even try it. Dad had basically no “filters”, if anything crossed his mind, likely it would be expressed. Some people appreciated this, but many did not. One thing was absolutely clear, you always knew where he stood. He also had no fear at all, the stories are many, but maybe we keep those to the close family. He was an introvert and preferred to be around just family and a small circle of friends.
Dad had an amazing memory and remembered specific details clearly and could remember stories that happened when he was two years of age. He could also read his children’s minds and was amazingly accurate. His hearing was beyond human capacity, and was known for very colorful punchlines.
Our Dad was predeceased by his father, mother, brothers, sisters, and wife. The Córdova family would like to express our appreciation to friends and family both locally and abroad who have shown their love and support in our time of grief and sorrow. We would like to extend our appreciation to Haydee Pacheco, the Director of the Senior Home, and all her staff, especially Nelly for her kindness and care. We must also thank Jose Lugo, the Social Worker at my parent’s community. Jose and the neighbors Damaris and Herman went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure our Dad was always doing well. They have lovingly provided Dad support and compassion over the last years. 2020 was an absolute torture on Dad, he had a heart attack on March 5th, which was our Mom’s birthday. He later had a stroke, lost his sight, had sepsis, survived COVID-19, and finally a cancer diagnosis. He defeated them all through his skill of stubbornness and mental strength, but cancer could not be conquered.
A family funeral service will take place on March 5, 2021. First a Mass Service at 1:30 p.m. (AST +1 from EST) at Iglesia Santa Teresita in Ponce, PR. Then travel to Cementerio La Piedad and at 2:30 p.m. deliver the eulogy and a guitar player and singer will play his favorite music. Shortly after 3 p.m. (AST) will hold military honors.
We plan to celebrate his life with music, stories, and food. Hope to have a video presentation of the service and tribute available for those who cannot attend.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of our dear Dad may be made to Melvin Cordova to provide a garden in front of the Senior Home “Hogar Nuevo Renacer” that took care of Dad. This project will be completed on March 3rd and the baseline includes: 3 cubic yards of dirt, ($178); 250 s/f of grass, ($125); 41 small ornamental plants ($225); plus transportation and labor to be determined. Some family and friends have requested to make donations and for that reason alone we are asking. Photos of before and after will be provided. Donations could help add larger plans or alter the number of plants.
The online obituary link is: http://bit.ly/Poncio-Cordova
Melvin Cordova Bank Name / Address: Navy Federal Credit Union; 820 Follin Lane; Vienna VA. 22180 Routing Number: 256074974 Bank Account: 0857007702 Account Type: Checking
Or mail check to: 1860 Stratford Park Place Apt. 408 Reston, VA. 20190
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Parroquia Santa Teresita
Sepelio Restos Cremados
2:30 pm - 3:15 pm
Cementerio La Piedad