Witzke Funeral Homes Inc.

5555 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD



September 13, 1969June 10, 2019

Cecilia M. Duquela Fuentes, 49, of Columbia, MD, passed away on Monday, June 10 2019. She was born on September 13, 1969 in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was the daughter of Dr. Juan Luis Duquela and Cecilia Fuentes. Cecilia is survived by her husband Robert Luis Romero, their son Liam, her stepchildren Daniel, Tony and Sarah, her parents, her siblings Liza Maria Lynch and Juan Luis Duquela Fuentes, the Fuentes family, and the Alba family. She is also survived by her friends at the Office of Juvenile Justice, the Nurturing Nest community, and the community of St. John’s Parish Day School, who provided invaluable support, kindness and compassion during her five year-long battle with ovarian cancer.

Cecilia was a woman of extraordinary dignity, grace, strength and courage. She stood above many others in terms of her sense of integrity and justice. She was an award-winning Program Manager at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in the U.S. Department of Justice, but never sought accolades for her achievements. She dedicated her life to securing better services for children at risk of harm and better protections for communities and families facing injustice. She worked on all facets of child protection, including the creation, development and implementation of the AMBER Alert program, and was instrumental in developing the partnership between the U.S. and Mexico on cross-border abductions.

Cecilia leaves behind a legacy of kindness, generosity and love.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes friends to donate to social or environmental causes of their choosing.

A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, June 29 from 12:00PM to 2:00PM at The Meeting House at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD.

Please feel free to post your memories of Cecilia.


29 June

A Celebration of Life

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Meeting House at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center

5885 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045



have a memory or condolence to add?

Montse Tirado

June 15, 2019

Les doy mi más sentido pésame. Ella era una mujer con un gran corazón, dedicada a su familia y a sus amigos, y muy querida.
Cecilia te voy a echar mucho de menos amiga.

Liza Lynch

June 13, 2019

It is fitting that orange was Ceci's favorite color. She was my sun. Ceci had a quiet confidence that was unassuming but was like a magnet - she loved people, she loved being helpful, she loved sharing. Hers was a selfless love. We were 4 years apart in school, so when she was a Senior in high school, I was in 8th grade. While most girls her age would have thought it terminally uncool to hang out with their little sister, mine drafted me into her circle of friends. And she did that throughout her life. I am thankful for all the amazing women she befriended, and look forward to continuing those friendships and seeking their advice as Liam grows up. To everyone reading this, thank you for loving my sister. She loved you back.

Angela Parker

June 13, 2019

My condolences to the family. My heart aches for you all as Cecilia was such a sweetie pie and I'm so blessed to have been able to work along side her. Heaven has received an Angel. My love to lil "Peanut" I loved her sharing your growth and pictures with me. May God Bless you all. Rest in Paradise my friend Cecilia.

Scott Hertzberg

June 13, 2019

The best thing about work was going out to lunch with Cecilia. We would talk about movies, the news, anything but work. What luck to meet and have Cecilia as a friend. My condolences to Roberto, Liam and Cecilia's family. Memories of Cecilia are truly a blessing.

Kara McDonagh

June 13, 2019

Cecelia brought warmth, generosity and kindness to even the most bleak desolate spaces. She was truly the salt of the earth. I will miss her message of love and gratitude and her insight, conscientiousness, dedication and commitment to the work of making a better, safer, more equitable world.
I send my sincere condolences to her family, who she adored. I will be keeping you close to my heart during this time of heartbreaking loss. Her memory will always remain a source of joy and inspiration to me.

Brad Russ

June 12, 2019

Cecilia guided our efforts to protect missing, endangered and exploited children under the AMBER Alert program and our Cross Border initiative with Mexico for many years. Her legacy will live on through the programs she led and her strong commitment to protect children for many decades to come.

Carlos Alcázar

June 12, 2019

We had the pleasure and honor or working with Cecilia and Lou Ann Holland on communications campaigns that kept children safe. It was groundbreaking and visionary for them to lead the project on the DOJ side. It's been ten years since that work and it's still exemplary because of her support and guidance. Cecilia was always a voice of comfort and strength. The world will miss her dearly. Our deepest sympathy, prayers, and thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

Steffie Rapp

June 12, 2019

To Cecilia's family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Cecilia was an amazing person. I admired her grace, strength and courage in the face of these difficult times. I always enjoyed spending time with her.... meeting for lunch in Columbia and chatting about everything. She will be greatly missed by me and she will always be in my heart.

Angela Stewart

June 11, 2019

Cecelia was surely the most humble, gentle, selfless and graceful woman I know. She was a nurturing mother that had the strength that most can not even imagine. Her handling of her illness and life will forever leave a lasting impact on my life. Words do no justice to what an amazing person she was and her legacy will live on forever in so many hearts, minds and through those who had the chance to know her. My most sincere condolences to Rob, Liam, Liza and family. 💔❤️😔

Suzanne Hustead

June 11, 2019

I was blessed to have known such a wonderful woman. I will miss her more than I can say.