Cándida De La Cruz Santiago

Tributes~Cándida De La Cruz Santiago

Cándida De La Cruz Santiago
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Date of Birth: 
January 5 1917
Date of Death: 
July 18 2008

Cándida De La Cruz Santiago was born in Isabela, Puerto Rico on January 5, 1917. She was the daughter of José Ramón De La Cruz y Rodríguez and Adela Santiago y Vega. They had four children: Jose Ramón (Pepín), María Teresa (Tere), Luz Elena and Cándida (Canda or Candita).

Cándida married Juan Francisco Chaves on September 15, 1934. They had six children: Carlos, Laura, Reynaldo, Andrea, Ada and María.

Cándida's parents made her quit school in the sixth grade. (This was common in the rural parts of Puerto Rico at that time). The school was too far away and her mother did not want to send her anymore. She married at 17. To help her family, she sewed gloves and later had her own retail store and would also freelance, sewing clothes for clients. Years later, in her early 40s, long after having her six children and also after raising her husbands five children from a previous marriage, she went back to school and became an elementary school teacher until she retired in the late 1970s. Her daughter María and granddaughter Cristina also became teachers.

She was expertly skilled in macramé, knitting and crocheting. Every time she sewed a new dress to her daughters, their friends would go to her house and asked her to sew the same dresses for them, too. She loved riding the train and took her daughter María to one of the last rides that train ever did in the early 1950s, a moment her daughter, even though she was a small child, remembers very well to this day.

She loved writing and poetry. A skill that she passed on to her daughter María and her grandchildren Cristina and José.

During her teenage years, her favorite actor/singer was Carlos Gardel. She would walk in heels until her shoes wore off, to the town of Quebradillas just to watch his movies. In her later days, she loved to play bingo.

Cándida was an adventurer. She did not like to stay put. If she wanted to see snow, she would go to New York. She made the best arroz con gandules, pasteles, dulce de coco, flan de coco, mazamorra, dulce de lechoza, majarete and many other Puerto Rican foods.

Her family misses her stories and her smile. We still think of her everyday.

Media data: 
Place of Birth: 
Isabela, Puerto Rico
Place of Death: 
Isabela, Puerto Rico
Primary State of Residence: 
Isabela, Puerto Rico

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