Obituary of Petra Maria Mendoza Burgos
Petra María Mendoza Burgos, 88, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother entered into eternal peace on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at 10:57 a.m. in the Bronx, New York.
Petra was the proud mother of four children: Rosa María Estrada, José Luis Estrada, Santa María Arocho and Félix Manuel Arocho. She was a devoted and loving grandmother to Michael Angelo Estrada, Joseph Lee Estrada, and Evan Rafael Jiménez. She felt blessed at the birth of her first great-grandchild, Jaelyn Marie Estrada, in 2008.
Petra Mendoza was born in the Barrio of Santiago in Camuy, Puerto Rico on June 27, 1933. She was the 5th oldest of 11 children - the daughter of Juan Mendoza Méndez and Gregoria María Burgos Rivera.
After 35 years of living and working in Puerto Rico, she made the courageous decision to move to New York City in the summer of 1968 where she took up residence on 136th Street between Willis Avenue and Brown Place in the South Bronx. She lived in the Bronx ever since, moving to four other different neighborhoods throughout her life, the last one being Pelham Parkway North. Throughout those years she experienced the highs and lows of life. Despite the lows, she found the strength within her family to live life to the fullest.
A devout Catholic, Petra Mendoza did everything for her children and grandchildren, in body and soul. God and Family came first, above all else. She never missed Sunday Mass and Days of Obligations, even if there was a snow blizzard or a thunderstorm. She collected religious icons of Jesus and Mary, crosses, and nativity sets. She donated to Catholic Charities because she felt they helped the most people in need.
She loved cooking and made delicious traditional Puerto Rican meals every day, especially for La Noche Buena and La Vispera del Año Nuevo. She was famous for her sofrito, tembleque and pasteles. She loved to sing and dance, and she loved to listen to music, especially the music of Carlos Vives, aguinaldos de la Navidad, and other traditional Puerto Rican music, boleros, trios, and dancing songs. With only a 3rd grade education, she taught herself to read and write in Spanish and ultimately read the Holy Bible in Spanish from beginning to end.
Petra Mendoza instilled in her children and grandchildren the importance of family, love, and kindness, and encouraged a lifetime of learning, whether it be in school, at work, or at home. She was extremely playful and affectionate with them, joining them in their physical fun and games. She also loved to play with words and phrases, both in Spanish and English, which came to her very naturally.
She was pre-deceased by her parents, her older sisters María and Angelina, her daughter Rosa María, and her brothers Manuel and Confesor. She is survived by her three loving children, three grandchildren, and first great-grandchild, as well as her surviving brothers and sisters and their children who live in Camuy, Arecibo and Hatillo in Puerto Rico as well as in the Puerto Rican diaspora in Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, and Tennessee.
Her lasting legacy, which she imparted to everyone she loved and met, will always be: Love, Family, Unity, Affection, Forgiveness and Play. She always had a smile, a laugh, a song, a hug, and a kiss for all her family, in-laws, friends, and neighbors.
Viewing will be held on Sunday, August 1, 2021 from 3:00 - 7:00 P.M. in Farenga Bros. Funeral Home, 920 Allerton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10469
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, August 2, 2021 at 11:30 A.M. in St. Lucy's Church, Bronx, NY
Interment will follow in St. Raymonds Cemetery, Bronx, NY