It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Maria Ines Guerrero de Gamboa, our beloved mother, grandmother, wife, aunt and friend to all whose lives she touched. She was 88 years old when God called her home on July 26, 2020 with her family by her side in Linden, New Jersey. Her loss leaves us all with a heavy heart but with comfort knowing that she will always be with us in spirit from heaven.
Her life was inspirational. From humble beginnings, risk taking, sacrifice and hard work, Maria Ines embodied the American Dream. Born on January 20th, 1932, in Santa Sofia Boyaca, Colombia to Flor de Maria Ovalle and Jesus Guerrero. Her life was tragically changed when she was left an orphan at the tender age of seven when her parents died a year apart from each other. She grew up in the countryside of Boyaca under harsh conditions but in her tenacious pursuit to improve her life by the age of twelve she left to take her chances in Bogota, Colombia. Despite her difficult childhood she matured into a very brave, independent, and determined woman. Her adventurous spirit led her to make a major decision to leave Colombia. Alone, in 1959 she arrived in Boston, Massachusetts. Maria Ines with great courage and kindness shared her American Dream with many family members.
She worked in a convent with the Dominican Sisters that took an immediate warming to her charm and continued a touching correspondence with her for many years. She ventured off to New York to work in another convent in Oyster Bay. On April 5th 1964, at St Dominic Church in Oyster Bay she married Luis Alfonso Gamboa whom she had known for years from her hometown in the countryside of Colombia. Together, Maria Ines and Luis moved to New Rochelle, NY in 1965, where they began their family. In 1978 her husband Luis started working in General Motors and moved the family to Linden, NJ.
As a dedicated mom she was stern but always loving. Faith and education were of utmost importance as she taught us many lessons in life. Her cooking was well known to many of our friends as she demonstrated in so many of our gatherings. She loved clowning around and corny jokes. She loved traveling the world and cherished having visited the Holy Land. As a Eucharistic Minister she devoted her time and energy to others as she did visiting the sick and elderly in hospitals throughout Elizabeth, NJ. She was a devout Catholic and active member of St. Elizabeth's in Linden. She also served St. John the Apostle Church in Clark for many years.
Maria Ines is survived by her husband Luis Alfonso, her four children and their spouses, William and Maritza Gamboa, Mary Jean and Hector Sepulveda, John and Adriana Gamboa and Larry and Doriana Gamboa. Maria has eleven amazing grandchildren who love her dearly and will miss her deeply.
In Lieu of flowers donations may be sent to:
Salesian Missions / Don Bosco New Rochelle, NY
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church in Linden, NJ
Visitation be will be held at Higgins and Bonner iEcho Lake Funeral Home in Westfield, NJ on Thursday July 30th 2020 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. A Catholic mass will be held for her July 31st 2020 at 10:00 AM at St Elizabeth’s of Hungary in Linden, NJ
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