For a long time you couldn’t walk into her house without the smell of fresh bread or olive oil filling your senses. She was most herself in the kitchen. You could ask her to teach you to cook, and she would agree, but usually it was just so she would have company by her side while she worked, keeping the secrets of her magic to herself.
Along with cooking, she most enjoyed her garden, card games (she was a ‘sueca’ shark), McDonalds hamburgers and knitting/crochet. But mostly she loved and was loved by a lot of people.
Agueda Alves Morais Esteves was born on Febraury 5, 1927 in Britelo, Ponte da Barca, Portugal. Her parents Serafim Joao Morais & Aurora Alves welcomed her as 1 of 9. She was raised in Portugal with her siblings Olinda Paula, Celeste Pires, Cesarino Morais, Otelinda Pereira, Angelo Morais, Daniel Morais, Julio Morais, & Placido Morais.
She married the late Mario Licinio Esteves in 1948 and was adored by her three children Lucilia Esteves, Edite Furtado and Licinio Esteves (deceased) and moved to America in 1967. While in the states she worked in various kitchens in Boston including Anthony’s Pier 4, MIT Chi Phi House and Phillips Candy House where she became known for her warmth, kindness and rice pudding.
Though she spent her days cooking for others, she was a master at holiday meals for family. Cooking enough to feed most of her home village of Britelo and at least half of Ponte da Barca. Which was nearly enough to feed her 50 nieces, nephews, grand-nieces & nephews and great grandnieces & nephews.
But where she exceled, where she was a star and most admired was in her role as a mother and eventually grandmother to her grandchildren Jessica Furtado, Jaime Furtado, David Esteves and Olivia Cruz & great-grandchildren Gideon and Evelyne Pegg.
However, the lives she touched reached far beyond her immediate family. Her home was evidence of that; her rooms filled with gifts from friends and family far and wide. Stories attached to every nik-nak and tchotchke of how she helped them or how they touched her.
Despite 52 years in America, she always lived by and believed in the Portuguese way and had in her the type of strength earned through years of cultivating land and kneading bread. You could try to challenge her to an arm wrestling contest, but you’d just embarrass yourself.
While she loved and was loved in this life, it is certain that there is a table filled of loved ones who passed before her prepared to greet her and her wit with a glass of homemade wine and a game of Rummikub.
Her services will be at the Alfred Thomas Funeral Home, 326 Granite Ave, Milton (Parking off Wood Street behind the gas station); Visiting hours Sunday, February 24, 2019 4pm – 8pm; Funeral Mass at St Mary’s Church, 115 Crescent St, Quincy, MA; Monday, February 25 at 10:00am; Burial Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester