Maria Elena Rodriguez, 80 of Maplewood, previous of Jersey City and West New York, passed away on January 24, 2023 at Beth Israel Hospital surrounded by her family.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Service at The Jacob A. Holle Funeral Home, 2122 Millburn Avenue Maplewood on Wednesday, February 1st at 06:00 PM. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, February 1st from 5-6PM.
As Maria used to say, "No me de flores ya quando estyo muerta, damelos en vida,” which is, "Don't give me flowers when I'm dead, give them to me while I'm alive.” The family requests in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1905 in honor of Maria’s work in childcare. For more information or to send condolences please visit jacobhollefuneralhome.com
Maria was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She immigrated to the United States in the 1968, where she held many jobs throughout her life, working her hardest to support her family. She would wake up before the sun, walking miles to a bus stop without complaint. Her final job was a Housekeeper for Crown Plaza Hotel in Secaucus, NJ
Maria is predeceased by her brothers Misael and Arturo. She is survived by her loving husband Rafael Cercone; son Giovanni Cercone, and daughter Aitza Garcia; grandchildren Aiden Cercone, Juliet Cercone, and Alana Garcia; sisters Mercedes, Rosa, and Carmen; brothers Alfonso and Jaime; numerous nieces and nephews; and her dog, Scruffy.
She was known as Maria to the world, Marlene to her husband, Mami to her children, Nenny to her most beloved family members, and Abuelita and Nana to her grandchildren.
She didn’t leave a long list of accomplishments or extraordinary successes to her name, but she spread love, kindness, and generosity like no one else. She loved without condition, giving everything even when she had nothing, and all without being asked. She was happiest when her home was full of family, love, and laughter. She fought off the advances of a young man so fiercely that he decided he needed to be with her forever and then was inseparable from him. She adored her grandchildren. Family was everything to her.