Martha Minerva Tavarez, 85, of the Bronx, passed away on May 29, 2022.
Born to Maria Domitila Cabrera on January 27, 1937 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Martha grew up to find love with her high school sweetheart, Jose Tavarez. Before his passing in 2020, they shared 56 years of marriage as they built a family and a life together moving to the United States. After starting out in Manhattan, Martha and Jose made their home in the Bronx and continued to enjoy New York City life including restaurants, Broadway shows, travel, jazz and salsa concerts, and most importantly Italian cuisine.
Martha was a devoted mother and managed to raise her children while also working as a seamstress and eventually becoming a state-certified caretaker for children in an afterschool program. Later in life, Martha would continue her education taking classes part time at Lehman College.
Strong in faith, the Spirit moved within Martha to advocate and help create a welcoming home for the Hispanic community at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, which she joined in 1977. Finding her place within this community, Martha’s devotion helped to organize annual Stations of the Cross through the neighborhood as well as the annual celebration of the patron saint of the Dominican Republic, La Virgen del Altagracia. Martha shared her faith by teaching CCD to Spanish speaking students, and her efforts with starting the Charismatic Movement and The Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus continue even to this day.
Martha’s warmth was as bright as her smile and anyone who met her could feel the love she shared with the world. Her smile always grew when she enjoyed hearing her favorite Ranchera music, including Rocio Durcal, Juan Gabriel and Ana Gabriel. These artists were a common part of her life’s soundtrack and she loved chances to see them in concert with Jose.
With the wisdom of her years, Martha accepted with grace the process of aging, even as Alzheimer’s began to take her memories; no illness could stop the love she carried for her family, nor the strength of her character.
Martha is united with her beloved family in the peace of God’s love, including her dear mother, Maria, her loving husband, Jose, and her beloved granddaughter, Natalie Grace Castro.
In loving tribute of her life, Martha’s family and friends honor her love including her beloved children Nancy Tavarez Castro and Son-in-law Richard Castro and Jose Tavarez, her grandchildren, Sophia and Lauren Tavarez, her dear sister, Grecia De La Cruz, her beloved nieces and nephew, Minut De La Cruz, Lis De La Cruz and Federico Alexander De La Cruz, her loving cousin, Mireya Acosta, her in-laws including, Mayo Tavarez, Jaime Tavarez, Gladys De La Fuente, her caring friends and cherished home care aides, Carmen Llivicura and Norge Perez.
Visitation for Martha will be held on Thursday, June 2, 2022, from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Lawton-Turso Funeral Home at 633 Washington Street, Hoboken (Corner of Washington and Seventh Streets, parking on Seventh). Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.