(Antonia Sánchez Rodriguez)
Antonia Sanchez Rodriguez was born in Los Azules, Chihuahua Mexico on June 13, 1938. She was the eleventh child born to José Sánchez López and Juana María Rodriguez Villalobos and the 9th of 10 children who would grow up to adulthood. Antonia, Toña, was born to two loving parents of humble means who would raise their children to love and respect one another. This would result in a strong bond among the siblings, and which would be part of the legacy that each would pass on to their children.
During the early years of Toña’s life the family would continue living in Los Azules until work at the local mine diminished significantly. Her father would travel around neighboring towns selling his services as a labor to provide for his family, but ultimately made the decision to move. The family would settle in San Francisco del Oro, Chihuahua (another mining town) where her older brothers and her father would begin working at the mine. It is there that the family would settle until all of José and Juanita’s children would grow up. The older siblings got married and immigrated to the United States. The younger ones, with financial assistance from their older siblings, would go the city of Chihuahua to purse their post-secondary education as teachers. Toña’s siblings encouraged her to follow them to the city of Chihuahua in hopes that she would also continue post-secondary education, however, she chose not to. She was perfectly content caring for two of her brothers and her younger sister so that they could fully focus on their studies. Once her siblings completed their studies and began to work in their professions, they encouraged their parents and those who had remained in San Francisco del Oro to follow them to Chihuahua.
As the 50’s gave way to the 60’s Toña evolved into a beautiful young lady. By that time, her older brothers were now well established in the United States, and they invited her for a visit, little did she know that she would never again live in her beloved Mexico. Shortly after her arrival to Brighton, Colorado (where one of her brothers and his family lived), one of her brothers introduced her to a young man, George Maez. George had recently graduated from barber school and was now working as a barber in one of the local shops. Following a brief courtship, George proposed marriage to Toña and she accepted. They were married on November 28, 1964.
Now happily married, George and Toña decided to start their family. On September 17, 1965, they welcomed their first daughter Yvette. Just one year later, on November 16, 1966, they welcomed their second daughter Linda Suzette, Susie. George and Toña were a natural when it came to parenting. They loved their girls so much. While George provided for his family in his chosen profession. Antonia was a stay-at-home mom. To Toña, George and her girls were the center of the universe. Together, George and Toña worked hard to make sure their girls had all they needed and to provide a safe and loving environment for them. They would see their girls through high school and, together, would work hard to send them to college, Toña went to work to help George with these additional expenses. Once their girls graduated from college, both George and Toña began talking about how they would spend their golden years.
Not long after graduation, their youngest daughter Susie, surprised them with the news that she was getting married. George was elated to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle. Things could not be any better. In addition to looking forward to their golden years, they also began looking forward to welcoming grandchildren. Unfortunately, on January 25, 2000, a massive aneurism claimed the life of George. This shattered the lives of Toña and her girls. Even though she was heartbroken and devastated, Toña knew she had to be strong for her girls, and she was. Throughout the following 20 years, she be honored to witness the marriage of Yvette and would lovingly welcome her grandchildren. She demonstrated time after time how much of a truly strong person she was. She not only earned respect and admiration from her daughters and their families, but also from her extended family.
Eventually she sold the family home where her daughters were raised and purchased a smaller one. She would live there until November of 2019 when she made the choice to move to Brookdale, an assisted living facility in Brighton. Following her move to Brookdale she was adjusting well to her new environment until the COVID 19 Pandemic hit. It was not long after the start of the pandemic, that Brookdale enforced a lock down. The residents could not leave the facilities and friends and relatives were not allowed to visit; this did not fare well for Toña. Her girls and their families would visit her from outside her window. This was acceptable for a short time, but Toña could not adjust to life without the hugs and kisses from her girls and grand kids. The COVID 19 pandemic found its way into the facility claiming the lives of several of the residents. It was then that Ed and Yvette decided to take her mother to live with her. The best part of moving into Yvette’s home is that now Toña would be able to receive all the hugs and kisses she wanted.
Sadly, Toña’s health, which had already been in decline well before she had moved to Brookdale continued on the decline. Yvette wasted no time in contacting hospice to get the help her mother needed. Both Yvette and Susie took the lead on their mother’s care. They lovingly tended to her with the assistance of a wonderful hospice team. On July 14, 2021, Toña was called home and reunited with her loving God and her beloved George. She is survived by one brother Fidencio, Brighton; her daughters, Yvette (Ed), Brighton and Susie (Joe), Aurora; and four grandchildren, Aaron, Joy, Cody, and Olivia
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