It is with faith and love that we pray over the passing of our dear and beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt and friend, Maria Luisa Pereira, affectionately called “Abuelita Lucha.” On March 21 2021 at the Monmouth Care Center in Long Branch, NJ, she passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 101. Born in La Paz, Bolivia S.A., on September 9, 1919, she was the last of 13 siblings to join our Lord’s paradise. She married, had three sons, and lived mostly in La Paz but also traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where her husband and sons made their footprint on a ranch farm. They administered the ranch, and she taught her children about how to cultivate the land and take care of all types of animals. Her experience was brief but the lessons of seeing how strong and determined their mom was stayed with them forever.
Maria Luisa was a humble and reserved woman whose main priority was family. She also had a passion for gardening and could revive any plant, her favorite flower being the carnation. She was well versed in holistic natural remedies and had a cure for any ailment. One of her many hobbies was knitting and sewing. She lovingly gifted each member with beautifully knitted garments. She also loved cooking, her specialties included soups like Lawa (Sopa Picante de Pollo), Chairo, and the entrée Falso Conejo. Her sons’ favorites!
In 1977, she immigrated to San Jose, California to live with her son Antonio, wife, and three children. She worked as an art’s & crafts instructional aide, encouraging young students to express their creativity at Olinder Elementary School. Abuelita Lucha was always ready to join Antonio and his family on adventures. From hiking the Grand Canyon, to Lake Shasta, and many other camping expeditions, to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland, where she experienced many memorable times, especially riding the Matterhorn. Maria Luisa was blessed with having her grand-nephew, Eduardo Vargas, live with her for a short time, and his continued visits until she moved out of state.
After more than 40 years of living in the West Coast, in 2009 she courageously moved across the country to West Long Branch, NJ to live with her son Mario, his wife and two children. Her presence was a blessing that gave them the opportunity to fully enjoy the Abuelita they had missed so much and gave her an opportunity to enjoy the Jersey Shore! Almost weekly, she would take a drive through the Long Branch boardwalk and occasionally enjoy a Lighthouse ice cream. She enjoyed listening to Bolivian folkloric music with her son Mario, especially enjoyed eating the home-made fruit smoothies he lovingly made for her, and bird watching from the porch.
For her grandchildren she was the essence of endearment. Abuelita Lucha would bring warmth and smiles to all those who were blessed with her presence. While sitting with her grandchildren to enjoy the evening sunsets she would hold their hands and kiss them lovingly. Any expression or word from her was nurturing to their hearts. Her kindness was profoundly heartfelt and returned threefold.
Also, by living in NJ, her son Jaime and family were closer to visit and share valuable time with her. She later moved into a nursing home where her sons and daughter-in-law, Carmen visited and bonded even more. Abuelita and Carmen shared memories and meals and took daily strolls to enjoy the sun and scenery.
Maria Luisa is pre-deceased by her 12 siblings, Walter Pereira Pelaez (husband) and Jaime A. Pereira Jr. (grandson). She is survived by her three loving sons Antonio Pereira and wife Rosario, Justo Mario Pereira and wife-separated, Maria Elena, and Jamie A. Pereira, Sr. and wife Carmen, her eight caring grandchildren, Tony, David, Bibi Kilinski Pereira, Bibi Alborzfard Pereira, Gabriela, and Walter. She also leaves behind her great-grandchildren, Ubteen, Austin, Logan, Beeta, Maia, Edison, Preston and Ella.
A memorial and funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12:00pm at Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above.
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