March 21, 1930 – March 16, 2020
On Monday, March 16, 2020, Irene Floyd (89), loving wife and mother of three children, passed away in Charlotte, NC.
Born on March 21, 1930, in Laredo, TX, she was raised in Laredo and in nearby Rio Grande City. Irene married fellow Laredoan Fernando Floyd on December 15, 1951. Immediately after their wedding, Fernando’s career as an exploration geophysicist took the couple to Brazil. What was meant to be a short assignment turned into a 44 year stay in South America: 31 years in different cities of Brazil, 8 years in Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, and 5 years in Colombia. Irene’s favorites? Her honeymoon years in northern Brazil; her many years enjoying Chilean hospitality in frigid Punta Arenas, on the Strait of Magellan; and, of course, her quarter century in exuberant Rio de Janeiro. She bore each of her three children in a different country.
Wherever they lived, Irene and Fernando made sure that their home was a place of rest, safety, and affirmation for the widest assortment of short and long-term guests. Travelers, wayward teenagers, missionaries of all denominations, relatives, beggars off the street, and recently released convicts found a comfortable bedroom, Irene’s famous baked goods for dessert, and no judgmentalism. On one occasion in Rio, even her kidnappers were disarmed by her concern for their spiritual well-being and not only released her but made sure she had money to get home.
In 1996, Irene and Fernando retired in Fernandina Beach, FL, to be near grandchildren. Always adventurous, the enticement of other grandchildren convinced Irene to move to Charlotte, NC, in 2017.
She is predeceased by her parents, Manuel and Crisanta (Guerra) Vela; by her siblings, Aurelio, Benilde, Luis, Crisanta, Angelina, Jacobo, and Maria; and by her beloved husband, Fernando. She is survived by her children Christie (Rob) Goyette (Yulee, FL), Pamela (Paulo) Tatagiba (Bom Jesus do Itabapoana, Brazil), and Peter (Monica) Floyd (Charlotte, NC); thirteen grandchildren and greatgrandchildren in the U.S. and Brazil; one sister, Cristina (Javier) Garza (Laredo, TX); and dozens of cherished nieces and nephews.
The family is particularly grateful to caregiver Jubitza Figueroa, to Dr. Catherine Ferrara, and to all of Irene’s third-floor neighbors at Providence Carriage Club Retirement Home in Charlotte.
On March 21, 2020, a Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Fernandina Beach, FL, immediately followed by a graveside ceremony at Bosque Bello Cemetery.
Online condolences may be shared at www.mcewenpinevillechapel.com.
- Funeral Service Saturday, March 21, 2020
March 21, 2020
To the family of my aunt Irene I send my sincerest condolences, since the 1950s to the present I’ve have many wonderful memories of my aunt, she reminded me of Saint Ann and Joaquin, she always had a kind word and thoughtful impression of everyone. The best way I will remember her will be in my daily prayers in the divine hour, God bless you all.
Betty Floyd Rees
March 19, 2020
Christie, Peter, and Pam: my thoughts and prayers are with you now as you celebrate your mom‘s life. I’m so sorry I can’t be with y’all due to this national shutdown. My fondest memories of my aunt are of her being joyful, playful, and spiritual. She was one in 1 million. She will be missed by all she had contact with. I’ll keep her memories in my heart and y’all in my prayers.
Debbie Beall Smith
March 19, 2020
I have numerous, wonderful memories of Aunt Irene. Whenever she and her family would come to the states in December, we would meet up with them in Laredo, TX. Aunt Irene would always make you feel like you're the only person in the room. Her smiles were contagious. She was the BEST story teller. Ever. "The Many Adventures of Smoochie, the Monkey!" I still think of her when I hear a mourning dove. She could mimic one beautifully.
After she and Uncle Fernando moved to Amelia Island, my family and I went to visit them several times. They were always gracious hosts; great conversations. I brought up Smoochie and told her if she ever wanted to publish a book, I'd love to be the illustrator. Unfortunately, we never got around to doing it.
Aunt Irene, you'll be greatly missed by all that loved and knew you.
Until we meet again,
XOX Your niece, Debbie