April 5, 1933 – January 5, 2021
Carmen Noelia Mujica (nee Mora) died on January 5, 2021, at 87 years old.
Carmen was born on April 5, 1933 in New York City to Jose and Generosa (Molina) Mora. Although she was an only child, her parents both came from large families and she was surrounded by many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. She grew up in the Spanish Harlem area of Manhattan, but always said that she had a wonderful childhood and never felt poor. While Spanish was her first language, she was fluently bilingual. She became an avid reader, something that would last her whole lifetime. Her family moved to the “suburbs” (the Bronx) in the mid-1940s. She graduated from Julia Richmond HS in 1950 having studied commercial subjects, and became an executive secretary at Medo Photo Supply in Manhattan. It was there that she met Anthony (Tony) J. Mujica, newly discharged from the USMC, who worked in the shipping department. Carmen and Tony were married on September 8, 1956 at St Anselm’s Church in the Bronx.
Their first child, Anthony, Jr., was born in July 1957, but sadly passed away a few days later. Carmen mourned her son, but focused on having and raising other children. Carol was born in 1958 and Mary in 1960. She was a full time mother and homemaker until 1967 when she went back to work part time. In 1972 she joined Richards and Fenniman Insurance company in the Wall Street area, initially as a bookkeeper and eventually as the office manager. They enjoyed an active social life with family and friends, sharing food and drink and dancing to the music of their era. Starting in 1987, they became doting grandparents to Nina, Elizabeth and James (Carol and Jonathan Dyer), watching them grow up gave them both much joy. Carmen retired in 1995, and she and Tony moved to New Rochelle, NY. to be closer to family. They attended youth soccer games, countless school plays, scouting, Sunday school, beach club and Iona College sports events. They continued to host friends and family regularly.
After the grandchildren were grown, Carmen and Tony moved to Tallahassee, FL in 2010 to be near their younger daughter, Mary, her husband, Stephen Taber, and his son, Will. As first time homeowners, they planted tomatoes and flowers and citrus trees, and adopted their first pet, Sam the cat. They enjoyed visiting their “grand dog” Grover, driving on canopy roads, seeing hummingbirds on their feeder, and the old camellias, azaleas, roses, and gardenias blooming everywhere. (But possums were ugly to her, and she was afraid of gators.) An avid fan of Gone With the Wind, Carmen became a southern belle. She loved her sweet tea, fried chicken, pulled pork, BBQ ribs, and any fresh greens. (She never did learn to appreciate grits.) She was enamored by the hospitality of her neighbors, and enjoyed walking every morning with her dear friends Judy and Betsy and her other “grand dog” Scruffy. To our knowledge, Carmen never left the house without checking her hair and lipstick, and color coordinating her outfit.
In 2015 Carmen and Tony attended their granddaughter’s wedding where they met their first great-grandchild. Later that year Tony passed away after a long illness. They had been married over 59 years. Carmen lived to see her grandchildren married and met all three great-grandsons. She was awaiting the arrival of her first great-granddaughter when she succumbed to pancreatic cancer, sixteen months after being diagnosed. At the end, she assured us that she was ready, and that she had enjoyed a wonderful life. Her passing leaves a void in the hearts of all who she touched, but also joy for having known her. She was an amazing example of kindness, love, gratitude, and good spirits.
She is survived by daughters: Carol (Darrell Friedman) and Mary (Stephen Taber), grandchildren: Nina (Cory Smith), Elizabeth (Joel Stacklie), James (Joelle Dyer) and Will Taber, and great-grandsons: Ethan, Bennett and Logan.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Big Bend Hospice or Pancreatic Cancer Research (lustgarten.org)
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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