Mary Quijas Gonzales, 89, of Lakewood, Colorado, died peacefully surrounded by family on October 28th, 2022. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 1102 12th Ave, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, on Friday, November 11, 2022, with a Rosary beginning at 10 a.m., followed by the Mass. A reception will be held afterwards. Cremation has taken place. The family would like to thank Lutheran Hospice in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and ask that all memorials be made to them. Online condolences may be expressed at www.reverencefuneralparlor.com.
Mary was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on November 16, 1932, one of thirteen children to the late Martin and Maria Quijas. She moved from Kansas City to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where she lived for many years, raising her sons: Tommy Cisneros "Timber”, Raymond Ramirez, Louie Ramirez “Seca”, Anthony Ramirez “Boulder”, and Frank Quijas.
She made a new start in Denver in 1973 after her marriage ended. She lived thirty-five years in the Sun Valley neighborhood, taking care of several generations of children and making many dear and lifelong friends. She then moved to Lakewood for the final fifteen years of her life.
Thirty-eight years ago, she married Ramiro Gonzalez, who remained her life-long partner until her death.
Mary had challenges in life, but more so she had joy and celebration. She loved visitors of all sorts. Definitely, family was welcome at any time --especially if she could feed them. More than one grandchild or nephew planned their visits around mealtime. Not only were their bodies fed, but their souls were also fed, since she was genuinely thrilled with their presence. A special event for her was when the family whose children she cared for all week, would come to visit her on the weekend.
Mary would wait for the arrival of the chili stands so she could have her year-round stash of roasted chiles. She gathered with the neighborhood women to make tamales every Christmas. Cooking was one way Mary would show and share her love. Any upcoming event (wedding, graduation, funeral, birthday) was an excuse to make a pot of green chili and Spanish rice to share. You were probably getting food if she heard you were sick. Her family was the center of her life, but she welcomed old and new friends with warmth and enthusiasm.
Her five sons were raised by her. Though never licensed, she provided age 0-5 daycare for a multitude of grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, continuing her expertise in caring for the next generation of great children. She retired just three years ago, at age 86, and this was only at the urging of her son, because she kept trying to carry the kids.
Survivors included Ramiro and her sons, as well as sixteen grandchildren, thirty-five great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, along with numerous nieces and nephews and their children.
She was preceded in death by her beloved son, Raymond, and her precious granddaughter, Hope, as well as all of her brothers and sisters.