August 23, 2012
On August 23, 2012, Maria Lillian Reyes of Silver Spring, Maryland; beloved daughter of Manuel Garcia Lopez, mother of Ivette (Italo) Castillo, Edwin Reyes and Rosario (Carlos) Prieto; Sister of Blanca Martinez and Ivonne Garcia, Grandmother of Blake Castillo, Matthew Castillo, Kathy Saldana, Travis Reyes, Priscilla Saldana, Ashley Castillo, Yasmine, Ariana Tristan and Leah Prieto; Great Grandmother of Jayden Castillo; Aunt of Kayla Cabrera, Hannah Ruiz, Luis Bereguete, Christian and Cesar Garcia.
Relatives and friends may call Friday, August 31 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 500 Randolph Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904 (map/directions) where funeral will be held Saturday, September 1 at 11:00 a.m. Interment Fort Lincoln Cemetery (map/directions).
Maria Lilian Reyes arrived in this world just two months shy of her delivery date. August 15, 1942 marked the resilience Maria had to be a survivor. Not only was she born during World War II, but also during the time that Walt Disney released the animated film “Bambi”.
Maria’s humble beginnings start in San Salvador, El Salvador. Life was simple back then (according to our grandparents: water had to be fetched if your house didn’t have running water; baby formula was a commodity that not all homes could afford. Unfortunately for Maria, her mother (Maria Andrea) had to be hospitalized after giving birth and couldn’t breast feed her tiny infant. So, what’s a hospital to do? They had workers at the hospital who would actually breast feed preemies and other infants in need.
Maria enjoyed life with her parents as an only child until a sibling (Blanca) was born. As a child, Maria enjoyed going to the circus with her dad (Manuel) – she would enter dance competitions against other audience. She would dance mambo, paso doble and other popular dances of that time. To her parents’ amusement or amazement, she would always win. As a young woman she took lessons to become an opera singer; however, love was in the air and met a young student who was taking violin lessons at the same school. Ivette (her eldest daughter) was born, followed by Edwin (her middle son).
Being an office worker was not fulfilling, so she became an entrepreneur. She set up a small convenience store and was very successful. Her mother was in charge of the store during the day while Maria worked full time. Maria would go to work in the mornings and return home by noon for lunch and a siesta: she would return to work cheerful and full of energy. In the evenings she would return home to a warm welcome. Although, she had many obstacles in life, she would never allow tribulations to stand in her way. She was known in the neighborhood for her sunny disposition, her charity and her good sense of humor.
In 1968, she decided to come to the United States for a better future for herself, her children and her entire family. That family included her children, her parents, her two siblings and one niece. Life was not complete without her loved ones. Maria became her family’s pioneer: her vision of life in this country meant freedom from persecution. And so it began: she first brought her two kids followed by her mother and middle sister. She then assisted her mother in bringing her youngest sister (Ivonne) and niece (Kayla). She was not going to rest until her beloved dad was also in this country. In 1972 she was once again blessed with her last daughter (Rosario). In 1982, she pledge allegiance to the country that received her with open arms – becoming a naturalized citizen was one of her most treasured achievements. Maria loved going to the temple on Saturday mornings and reading the scriptures. If she had a mantra it must have been to enjoy each moment of your life to the fullest. Not only did she like dancing, laughing, cooking and parties but she also enjoyed her travels; which included Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, Boston, California, North Carolina and her home country – El Salvador; she made friends every where she went.
Calling Hours - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Silver Spring - 5 - 9 p.m.
Funeral - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Silver Spring - 11:00 a.m.
Interment - Fort Lincoln Cemetery, Brentwood
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