Martha P. Gonzalez

martha gonzalez

June 15, 1931 ~ October 24, 2023

Born in: Havana, Cuba
Resided in: Alexandria, Virginia

We are sad to announce the passing of Martha P. Gonzalez (Abuela), on October 24, 2023 of cardiac arrest at Alexandria Hospital.

Martha P. Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba on June 15, 1931 to Antonio Perez and Consuelo Seoane. She was the oldest of three children, sister Hortensia and brother Antonio.

Her father died when he was 27 yrs. old and she was just a toddler. Her mother was left with three young children in a small apartment living with her parents and no means of financial support.

Her grandfather owned a bodega and growing up they would get delicious breads, cheeses and meats for their meals.

Martha grew up poor and did not attend school until she was 12 years old. Her aunt Emilia paid for her education for a few years. She loved school and felt safe there. She was always competing for the top academic excellence award against a boy in her class, but she lost every time because of her behavior grades. Apparently she was quite the talker!

She met her husband, Jose Gonzalez, in the neighborhood (barrio) where they lived. In 1950 she married at age 19 and had a daughter who lived for 15 days. Martha had developed typhoid fever and passed it on to her baby whom she never saw.

After the loss of her first child, she and Jose had three daughters but the marriage was not a happy one. The Cuban Revolution began in 1953 and Martha and Jose were afraid for their little children. When the revolution ended in 1959, Fidel Castro and his forces overthrew the Batista regime and established a one-party state with the communists.

Martha and Jose knew they had to flee Cuba to shield their girls and with the help of family members who lived in the U.S., they were sponsored to leave Cuba.

They finally got the word that they were cleared to leave Cuba and arrived in the U.S. in June, 1962 in Washington, D.C.

They finally felt safe in the U.S., but challenges were still ahead. They could not speak English and had no money or place to live. With the help of family, they both got jobs and the girls went to school.

Martha got a job working for Marriott Corporation and learned enough English to get promoted to General Cashier at Marriott Hotel in Crystal City, Virginia.

However, the marriage did not last through their financial struggles and moving to a different culture and language. The daily pressures took a toll and they were divorced after 21 yrs. of marriage.

Martha loved living in the U.S. and became a U.S. citizen in 1971 at age 40. She went to night school to learn English and did pretty well. She worked two jobs her entire working life until her retirement after 36 years with Marriott Corporation at age 68.

She loved to travel and visited Peru, Spain and Italy.

After retiring she still wanted to work and took a part time job at Lord and Taylor department store. She worked there for ten years and when her oldest daughter had a stroke, she went to take care of her in Pennsylvania for four years until her daughter’s husband retired to take care of her.

Martha had a full life with the marriages of her three daughters to wonderful husbands, her five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. She also kept in touch with her niece and nephews and their families.

More than anything Martha loved her family and felt that this was her greatest accomplishment.

She is survived by her daughters, Marti Gonzalez (Bruce Iacobucci), Mercedes Rasmussen (David), and Rosy Gore (Joe). Five grand children, Jason Bowers, Lindsay Smolinski, Lauren Bowers, Eric Rasmussen and Scott Rasmussen. Nine great grandchildren, Andrew, Ryan, Emilia, Caroline, Charlie, Noah, Jette, Cole and Tatum. Her niece Maria Marion (Dan) and nephews Eduardo Sasturrias (Liz) and Antonio (Tony) Perez.

We will miss and always remember her strength, love, and dedication to her family.

Contributions in Martha’s name may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, https://www.kidney.org/

Services

Visitation: November 2, 2023 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Money and King Funeral Home
171 W. Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA 22180

703-938-7440

Service: November 2, 2023 1:00 pm

Money and King Funeral Home
171 W. Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA 22180

703-938-7440

Final Resting Place:

Columbia Gardens Cemetery
3411 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

703-938-7440
http://www.columbiagardenscemetery.org/

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  1. Mrs. Gonzalez was a “Mom” to all of us teenage friends of Marti and Mercy. Her heart and home was open to us all….welcoming us with delicious food and love. She will truly be missed. Rest easy, Mrs. Gonzalez. My prayers are with all of her family.
    Love,
    Cindy Foreso

  2. The light of Tia Martha’s love has not gone. It will continue to shine in our hearts and in our memory. Rest in peace, Dear Tia. We love you so very much, always.


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