Elena Baez Sanchez, 99, of South Orange, passed away on December 13, 2023.
Visitation will be held at Preston Funeral Home 153 South Orange Ave. South Orange, NJ on Sunday, December 17th from 2-6 PM. Internment is private.
Elena was born in Maunabo, Puerto Rico, moved to Brooklyn and then the Bronx. She lived in South Orange for 30 years. Elena worked as a seamstress for the I.L.G.W.U in New York where she was a Shop Steward. She was a very active member of the Democratic Party and served as the District Leader of District 9 in South Orange.
As a child in rural Puerto Rico, Elena wanted to be a teacher. That became impossible once her father would not give permission for her to go to school beyond the 8th grade. Her father stated girls didn’t need an education, or a profession. She couldn’t fulfill her dream, but she was committed to making sure that her children would not have their dreams crushed as hers were. She raised 2 boys in the South Bronx by herself, at a time when the betting odds were that her boys would either wind up in jail, become drug addicts or at best unskilled laborers. The odds makers didn’t know Elena. Both boys graduated from college. She was extremely proud of their accomplishments.
Elena is predeceased by her son Angel Caraballo. She is survived by her son Wilfredo (Fred) Caraballo, her Daughters in Law, Belinda & Beatriz, her grandchildren Nico (spouse Erica), Milena and Marcus (spouse Dominique), Diane & Michael. She was graced with the opportunity to meet her Great Grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the charity of your choice would be appreciated. For more information or to send condolences please visit prestonfuneralhome.net.