Maria T. (Santana) Ortiz of Quincy, also affectionately known as “Mami, Abuela and Tere,” passed away peacefully at the age of 84 in the company of her loving family on Friday, November 13, 2020. Maria was an amazing woman who had great wisdom, starting every other sentence with “Let me tell you something…” and then she told you a lot. She was born and raised in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, the dear daughter of the late Jose Santana and Mercedes Piniero Santana, until she moved to New York City at the age of 17. In NYC, she met the love of her life on a blind date, who became her husband for 67 years and survives her, Juan Ortiz Silva, also of Puerto Rico. Both had left the “isla del encanto” to find better futures and in the process, found each other and had 5 children. Maria was the loving mother of Carmen Ortiz and husband Tom Dolan of Milton, Juanita Diaz and husband Hector of Framingham, Juan Ortiz, Jr. and wife Tanya of NJ, Jose Ortiz of FL and Elizabeth Ortiz Murray of Quincy. She was the cherished grandmother of Jacqueline, Alisandra, Miquela, Olivia, Marie, Michael, Matthew, Johnny and Marcus. Maria was quite the matriarch, having been the oldest sister to 8 siblings, and she is survived by her sisters Aida (Hilda) Febres and Gloria (Tati) Rosado, and brothers Alejandro (Junior) Davila, Victor Santana and Jose Santana, Jr., whom she maintained loving relationships with. She also leaves many nieces and nephews who live in Puerto Rico, NY, FL and NJ whom she was also close to.
Maria spent most of her life as a homemaker and took on many side jobs to help support her family, including jewelry making and selling Avon door to door when there was no such thing as online shopping. She was a strong woman who was committed to raising strong women because she never saw herself as one. Yet, Maria took care of all her family’s needs, helped her husband in their Brooklyn gift shop and was always there to provide advice, a shoulder to cry on and tremendous love. Dramatic and hilarious, she lit up a room with her laughter and her “aye Dios mio.” She loved her telenovelas, many of which she watched with her girls, whom kiddingly referred to her as “drama Queen.” Maria was generous and selfless, always giving to others even when she did not have much to give. She took on extra jobs to help with her children’s education and loved the “lay-away” plan when her kids were little which allowed her to make sure there were enough toys under the tree at Christmas. There were many fun times with “Mami” going to Orchard Beach with a pot of rice and beans, summer trips to Puerto Rico to visit family and dancing to Salsa music.
Everyone who knew Maria appreciated her warmth, sense of humor and competitive spirit, especially when she was playing Bingo. She will always be remembered for her sass, strength, jet black hair, and musical rhythm that she passed on to all her kids and grandkids. When recently asked about her greatest accomplishment, she said it was having and loving her children. Family is what was most important to her, and being there for them when needed. There is no doubt she accomplished that and more.
Maria was a woman of faith who strongly believed in God and who found comfort in reading the Bible and prayer. She will be terribly missed and will be remembered most with love and admiration.
Due to the current Covid 19 restrictions, a private family Service will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, November 17th. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her memory to Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. Please use this link adelphi.edu/mariaortiz
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