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Maria (Maru) Rodriguez C., 96, was born on October 12, 1921 in Matagalpa, Nicaragua to Rodrigo Rodriguez and Candida Castillo. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Aura and Rodrigo. Maru is survived by her sister, Guadalupe Rodriguez, of Managua, Nicaragua. She passed to eternal life on April 25, 2018 at Cadia Healthcare in Hyattsville, Maryland, fighting for her life after falling gravely ill in January 2018.
Due to the poverty and difficult circumstances that Maru’s family endured for several years, eventually Maru moved into the care of nuns belonging to a Catholic Convent Hospital in Granada, Nicaragua. She spent several years in the convent where she learned many of the basics in life: reading, writing, math, cooking, laundry, and needlecrafts (sewing, knitting, embroidery, mending). She was taught the catholic catechism and was trained to help take care of the sick with the nuns. During Maru’s life at the convent, Dr. Francisco Rivas Alvarado worked at the hospital where Maru had the pleasure of meeting him while helping the nuns. Fortunately, when the convent was no longer able to continue in supporting Maru financially with her living expenses, Dr. Rivas offered in aiding her stay at the convent.
Dr. Rivas opened a private clinic in Managua, Nicaragua. He offered Maru a job as an assistant nurse. Being no stranger to Dr. Rivas’ kindness, twenty-year-old Maru did not hesitate in taking his offer. Several years later, Dr. Rivas married Carmen Hernandez and started a family. Maru assisted Dr. Rivas in the delivery of their three children. She spent her time working in the clinic and supporting Carmen in the caring and rearing of William, Frank and Mauricio. After Dr. Rivas’ passing in 1978, Maru made a commitment to stay with Carmen as her confidant and lifelong friend.
In late 1987 Mauricio Rivas and his family moved to Germantown, Maryland. Maru wanted to accompany the Rivas family to aid in the upbringing of their children. Since then, Maru lived with the Rivas family nurturing and giving her loving support to their children for 36 years: Maria Alejandra (36); Marcela Patricia (30); Mauricio Stephano (+ Oct. 1991); and Andres Ivan Mauricio (18).
Maru was a woman of many gifts and talents, yet humble, patient, and grateful. She had an innovative and creative mind that spoke through her arts and crafts. Maru enjoyed knitting, drawing, painting, and sewing her own clothes and other linens. She was a wizard in the kitchen and was known for her freshly made tortillas. Maru also provided us with her words of wisdom and faith. She was very knowledgeable of the life of Mary and Jesus. Maru adored the Virgin Mary, loved dearly the Child Jesus of Prague, and demonstrated great love and faith in our Lord. She solved problems with a smile and a prayer. Maru was an adventurous soul, but always mindful and cautious of her whereabouts. She enjoyed bringing life and joy to everyone of all ages. Maru knew how to give love genuinely and have fun. You could see her love and laughter through her eyes and how it spread onto everyone whom had the pleasure of knowing her. Maru spent her last few years at Collingswood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center since June 2014 until her final resting place at Cadia Healthcare of April 2018.
Maru had a strong will and never gave up, keeping her peaceful and respectful composure along the way. She lived a long and full joyous life; 96 years of compassion, laughter, wisdom, faith, and determination. Maru was and will always be an inspiration and an extraordinary example to us and to others that she has touched.
A memorial service for Maria (Maru) will be held at Mother Seton Parish at 19951 Father Hurley Blvd on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 10:00 AM. There will be a reception following the service in the Parish Center also at Mother Seton Parish.