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Gonzalez Funeral Home

7209 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL

OBITUARY

Maria Ernestina Reyes

November 11, 1926June 3, 2019

Maria Ernestina Reyes, 92, "Mamia" as she was lovingly called by her grandkids and many who met her late in her life, passed away peacefully surrounded by love on June 3, 2019, after a 12 year courageous battle with dementia/alzheimer’s.

She was born in El Retiro, San Luis, Pinar del Rio, Cuba. In Cuba, she was a 3rd to 5th grade teacher, who impacted and encouraged her students, many of which stayed in touch with her after her arrival in America in 1966. In the USA, she began working in the electronics industry ultimately becoming an assembly supervisor.

Preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Mario; brothers: Machito, Miguel, Chucho; sisters: Evelia and Mirta; and her parents Bernardo and Rufina.

Mamia is survived by her son Mario & his wife, Marta (grandkids Michael and Michelle); her daughter Ana & her husband, John (grandkids Natalie and Stephanie); and many nieces and nephews most of whom remain in Cuba. Mamia was an extremely dedicated, loyal wife and loving supportive mother and grandmother.

She was very courageous and strong, and continued to demonstrate that throughout the progression of her disease. She was known for her detailed stories. She loved to garden and any plant she touched flourished! A great cook, known for her many giant plate sized pancakes, quiche, dulce de leche, sopa de panetela, pollo con limon, stuffed pierna asada, arroz relleno decorated with a flower created with hard boiled eggs and pimentos, and many other special “unwritten” recipes. She would win anyone's heart with her beautiful smile, which she maintained throughout her life, even as she took her last breath and met the Lord.

Mamia’s favorite color was yellow so the family encourages you to feel free to accessorize with yellow during the visitation and mass.

The family would like to thank Riverwood ALF and their staff for the loving care she received, as well as LifePath Hospice of Hillsborough County Garnett team, especially Chuck Andrus.

Mamia loved children and as her disease progressed, they brought even more of a glowing smile to her face. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made in her memory to benefit hospitalized children. Donations may be made for the benefit of Tampa’s first acute care facility dedicated solely to children:

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2700 W Dr Martin Luther King Blvd. Suite 310, Tampa, FL 33607.

Donations are tax deductible.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, June 7, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Friday, June 7, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, June 7, 2019

Memories

Maria Ernestina Reyes

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Emma Lopo-Sullivan

June 8, 2019

There are so many treasured memories that it would be impossible to list them all here: Her warm welcome and hugs any time I arrived at the house will always be cherished, her laughter and those incomparable twinkling eyes; her joy every time the love of her life walked into the room; the stories of ONLY right turns when she learned to drive 😂; and so many more. Mayi and Any, you’ve both been in my prayers. May the good Lord wrap you in His loving arms.
Mil abrazos,
Emma y familia

Jose Manuel Antelo-Cordoves

June 5, 2019

Por circunstancias de la vida, no pude conocerla personalmente. Pero lo que siempre admiré en ella es su apego a la familia y a sus raices.
Poseo una imagen bonita de tres niñas que conservo con cariño y que comparto con todos.
Llegue a mis primos Mayi y Ana Lina mi sentido pésame y apoyo.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY