February 28, 1918 – August 23, 2018
Celia Sanchez, proud native of Madrid Spain and Houston resident for the past 35 years, died on early on Thursday, August 23, 2018.
Celia was a survivor of the Spanish Civil war. Married in 1937 at 19 years of age, she was widowed by her resistance fighter husband within 4 years. Her mother died at the age of 52, before her father and brother were imprisoned by Franco. Her father died in prison. She was mother to her 5 siblings, ages 7-14, when her father and brother went to prison. In spite of this tragedy, Celia was a lively, positive personality, who loved all things Spanish. She met her second husband late in life. She married Francisco Sanchez at the age of 66 in 1984 in Houston, Texas. Francisco died in 1997 leaving Celia to forge a new life with new friends.
Celia was an inspiration on how to live a full life. Perhaps good genes and her determination to seek out a meaningful social life was the secret. She was cooking paella for her numerous friends until she was well into her 90s. She continued to share the secrets of her paella recipe to all. She did not hesitate to invite 25-35 people to celebrate her birthday and serve chorizo, serrano ham, Spanish omelet and paella.
Celia had a wicked sense of humor, a fierce independence and a big heart. After she sold her home in 1990, she lived independently in senior housing. She was proud of being 100 years old and living alone and would proudly announce this fact to all.
Celia is survived by her sister Pilar of London and countless friends. Special thanks to Sira Pardo for being at her side every day for the past 3 weeks.
Family and friends will gather and celebrate this wonderful woman's life during a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5th in the sanctuary of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 11720 Joan of Arc in Houston, 77024, (713) 465-3414. Graveside services and interment will be 1:00 p.m. at Woodlawn Garden of Memories, 1101 Antoine Drive, also in Houston.
- Funeral Mass Wednesday, September 5, 2018
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August 31, 2018
So many memories of Celia in London with Chantal, seeing her on Sloane Street catching the bus from Harrods, seeing her in Battersea/Clapham. Then later in the US in Miami and in Houston.
I will miss her and cherish her memory. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, extended family and friends at this time.
August 30, 2018
After Francisco passed away in 1997, I was asked to contact Celia and be someone who could check on her & get her out of the house. She was hesitant at first, but soon we became life long friends & she called me her "Angel". We took a trip to Spain together with my Mother & what a grand tour it was to have a "local" to lead the tour guide & be the last one back on the bus! She also ran circles around my Mom & I every day at the age of 80+! She accompanied my friends Carmen & Wilie Martinez & I, along with my Mom, to Mexico City to visit their family & celebrate the "Day of the Dead". Oh what great memories she brought to my life. I had experiences that never would have happened if it weren't for her. I love you, Nanny Celia. You will live forever in my heart.
August 30, 2018
I'm so blessed to have had you in my life.
I will forever remember your constant joy and laughter along with the very many amazing memories. I'll never forget your delicious croquettas or Spanish omelettes. I hope I will get to a point in my life that I may bring pure joy and happiness to those around me like you have done for me and many others.
You will forever be missed and I hope to see you again one day :)
I love you to the moon and back!
August 29, 2018
Celia was indeed an amazing and courageous woman, a veritable force of nature, toughened by the first hand experiences of war, and with a heart and humour that has touched everyone who has been lucky enough to spend time with her in her miraculous 100 years.
Celia had a wonderfully volatile and feisty temperament coupled with an acute eye for human observation, so it was a total pleasure and an honour when she agreed to appear with exactly that quality in mind in a rock video I made- we liked to call it our 'Almodovar moment', both of us being fans!
And of course she made the most exquisite Spanish omelette and paella I have ever eaten; I never grew tired of hearing her tell how she made it- I felt this was an uncalculated and utterly selfless masterclass in simply how to make everything better and right with the world, and the magic always worked its charm.
I am eternally grateful to her for showing such care and compassion to the little girl who would one day become my wife; that simply can't be summed up. And any time life gets me down , in a dark moment I can turn around and picture her standing there with a mischievous grin wearing those joke glasses she found one day, with eyes popping out on springs saying in her rich accent, 'Hah-Jeremy! Look! Is no so bad!' We'd soon be in tears of laughter. And now we have other tears for the kind of pain in farewell that can only be felt and measured by love. Adios, 'Nanny' Celia. You have been such a legend in our family, and you will always hold a special place in our hearts. I love you and will miss your hugs, xxx Jeremy
August 29, 2018
Celia came into my life in London on August 31st 1954 when I was 3 weeks old as my nanny and remained as such for 64 marvelous years. We came to Houston together in the 1980's. She worked for many years as a brilliant seamstress for Harrods in London but she was always and foremost my nanny. We had and will continue to have a very special and unique bond that was sometimes difficult for our loved ones and friends to understand, but to us it never needed an explanation. Eventually those around us understood it was unbreakable. Her support helped me through many tough times in my life. Celia was always there for me in my childhood, my teen years, my adult years and now I must continue into my later years carrying her words of wisdom, guidance and encouragement with me always. I believe I was also there for her. She was the matriarch of her own Spanish family having brought all her seven siblings over from Spain to London in the 50's and helping them find work, resulting in fulfilled lives and a very tight family which got together weekly to right the wrongs over her legendary paellas.! Throughout her life she always made everything better for everyone around her with her wicked sense of humour and instinct for survival. She didn't suffer fools gladly and was always the centre of attention wherever she went and made friends all over the world. She has not and will never leave my side as I always feel her presence and wise words guiding me through life. I love you Nanny Celia XX
August 29, 2018
Nanny Celia, thank you for always looking out for us, loving us, feeding us your incredible Spanish food, making sure we were on the right track and always had a positive view on life for 100 years! I We miss you so much. You may be gone but your Spanish Spark will forever be within us. Te amo nanny <3 Christina, Marina y Nicholas.