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Carmen Delia Maldonado Reyes

Obituary for Carmen Delia Maldonado Reyes

February 14, 2019
New Haven, Connecticut

Loving Wife, Mother, Mother-In-Law, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin and Friend


Today we say farewell to Doña Delia, the daughter, wife, mother, mother-in-law, and friend. Carmen Delia Maldonado was born in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico on November 20, 1925; she was the daughter of Juan and Amparo Maldonado from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. She was the wife of the late Andres Reyes, a United States Army Veteran, also from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. The Doña Delia arrived to New Haven, CT in the early 1970's from Puerto Rico with her two sons: Juan & Rafael, and her two daughters-in-law, Maria and Gladys. She outlived her four sisters, Ester, Yolanda, Gelin, Amparo, and her two brothers, William and Victor, and her adoring son Rafael. Doña Delia was a woman before her time; she was a powerful Latina who was involved in politics on the island of Puerto Rico, as well as local New Haven politics. She is considered one of the city's pioneers in ensuring the voice of minorities (especially children) are heard. Doña Delia volunteered as a parent volunteer and later grandmother volunteer at Columbus School as well as Fair Haven Middle School. She was awarded and recognized for her outstanding volunteer work at NHPS Sacred Heart Program. She was determined to make a difference, impacting the lives of many children and their families in positive ways. She was also practicing, modeling, and instilling the power of education by the love of learning. There were times she assisted in live interactive experiments to the classroom. She enjoyed storytelling, teaching young children the importance of keeping their identity intact, an knowing their traditions, customs of their native lands, and most importantly, their native language. She taught dances like "la bomba" and "la plena", and loved to recite Puerto Rican poems at many school performances. One time when the lesson was on fruits and vegetables, she brought to the classroom all sorts of fruits and vegetables for the students to touch, feel and taste. A lesson that many speak about to this day. Other hobbies included gardening, (she grew the most beautiful of roses and irises in the neighborhood) reading, a love for Puerto Rican poetry and history, traditions, and rural music. She would dance and sing the music of Los Trios, Los Panchos, and favorite songs (En Mi Viejo San Juan & Preciosa). She was a master seamstress (she would see a dress or costume, and without a pattern would sew it exactly), and for our celebrations she out-did her talents in ways the public would marvel. Our school performances were choreographed by her including the dances, the lines, and she even sewed the costumes she designed; they were as real as any professional theatre performance. One of our favorites was the dress she designed and sewed to portray the Puerto Rican flag for our student singer, her beloved granddaughter Ivette Reyes of the National Anthem of Puerto Rico, La Borinqueña which was just spectacular! Thank you Doña Delia for instilling pride in our community through your talent and art. Doña Delia's pride is that she and her daughter-in-law celebrated over fifty years of friendship and sisterhood. They were inseparable. Very few women have a testimony like theirs. They have modeled for the new generation of girls and women, what it is like to put our differences to the side and connect with our similarities. It is in this sisterhood that she participated in the rearing of her four precious grandchildren, Ivette, Alberto, Rafael, Jr. and Joel, her great grandchildren, Ryan Rodriguez, Tiana Reyes, and Julian Reyes, and her third generation grandchildren Araya and Zaria Reyes. When you ask the grandchildren about her, they credit her for their knowledge of their culture, and their stability of faith. She was a woman of faith! Doña Delia did not waver in her commitment to her Savior, and she was not ashamed to share Him with whoever listened. For their example, we will always be grateful. We are living witnesses of a woman who was blessed with a long life, not one of roses and feathers, but one she accepted. She learned to smell the roses, and work to avoid getting pricked by the thorns. She never spoke a negative word about her neighbors, children of grandchildren. She praised God for all things. Today Doña Delia can hold her head high and celebrate her well deserved homecoming, and in return we will acknowledge that she served us all to the best of her abilities, and with dignity and pride. I know Doña Delia is right now reconnecting with her mom, dad, siblings and Rafael (her devoted son) whom are there welcoming her to her new home. Thank you Doña Delia for modeling life on earth to it's fullest. We love you, and will miss you. Funeral services for Doña Delia were held in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. The Washington Memorial Funeral Home, 4 Washington Ave., North Haven was entrusted with local arrangements.

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Arrangements By

Washington Memorial Funeral Home of North Haven

4 Washington Ave
North Haven, CT 06473
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