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Carmen Gonzales

November 13, 1949 - January 2, 2016
Holland, MI

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Visitations


Tuesday, January 5, 2016
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
171 West 13th Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-6700

Wake prayers will be at 8:00 pm in the sanctuary.

Services


Wednesday, January 6, 2016
11:00 AM EST
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
171 West 13th Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-6700

Life Story / Obituary


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All who knew Carmen Gonzales would agree that she was the heartbeat of wherever she went. She was bubbly, outgoing, and genuine with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. A devoted family woman, Carmen was delighted to be a wife, mother, and grandmother, and she loved cooking for her family whenever she could. A stranger to none and a friend to all, she was an amazing conversationalist who didn’t shy away from approaching people wherever she went. Although her life ended too soon, Carmen made a significant impact in the lives of others throughout her entire life’s journey. Deeply loved, she will never be forgotten.

The first half of the 1940s were very much defined by WWII as it raged on overseas. There was celebrating in the streets with the war’s end in 1945, and with the return of countless young servicemen and women the baby boom was underway during the last half of the decade. It was during this transitional time that Nieves and Jovita Quintero were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as November dawned in 1949. The exciting day arrived on November 13th when the baby girl they named Carmen was born in Seminole, Texas. She was one of 10 children in her family as she was raised alongside her eight brothers and her one sister. Carmen’s family migrated to the mid-western states to work the fields, and although she helped the family work in the fields Carmen much preferred keeping the books for her dad. It was during her formative years that she learned the value of hard work.

Even as a young girl Carmen was a social and outgoing flurry of activity. She established numerous friendships that remained with her throughout her entire life. Attending school for an entire year was difficult as the family traveled according to harvest times, but Carmen always deeply valued education. She attended Holland High School but had to drop out of school before graduating. Carmen was always committed to earning her diploma, however, and she proudly did so at the age of 32. It was also during her younger years that Carmen learned the incredible value of family. The family regularly got together for birthdays, and Christmas with her siblings and their families was always a memorable time. They also took a family vacation to Disney World.

Of the greatest significance in Carmen’s life was her own family. It was as a young woman that she met the man of her dreams while at a Christmas party. His name was Juan Gonzales, and he was friends with her brothers. Of course she was one busy girl at the party as she made her way around the room talking to nearly everyone. Always the gentleman, Juan patiently waited until she had a break from her friends to ask her to dance. The rest is history as they say as she and Juan were later married, marking the beginning of a new chapter in a love story that would span nearly 50 years. Together they were blessed with the births of four children including Sharon, Angel, John, and Abraham. While her children were growing up, Carmen was always inviting their friends over, and their friends were always thrilled to accept her invitation. While raising a young family, Carmen at one point quit working so she could become the caregiver to her father and then to her mother in law and father in law in their later years.

As her children grew older and had children of their own, Carmen couldn’t have been more thrilled. Family gatherings continued to be of the utmost importance, and she loved cooking for her family. It seemed that Carmen was forever planning a family get together of some kind including breakfast with extended family. In everything she did she was truly selfless throughout her entire life. In fact, Carmen even stopped working for a time to care for her mother-in-law and her father-in-law as their health was declining while also raising her young family at the same time.

Although caring for her family was always first and foremost, Carmen did keep busy with other things as well. She spent 10 years working for Life Savers. Carmen later retied from JCI after 25 years and also traveled to Washington, D.C. to march for labor union rights with her work colleagues. Carmen enjoyed day trips with Juan including sightseeing adventures as well as trips to the casino. She also liked gardening and watching television, movies, and the news.

To know Carmen Gonzales was to love her as she was one of the most loyal, compassionate, and kindhearted people around. She was generous beyond measure as she was more than willing to help others no matter the personal expense. Even more, Carmen always gave others her heart. She was not afraid to speak her mind, and she was famous for saying, “Si Dios Quiere,” which means Lord willing, I’ll see you tomorrow. Although she will be deeply missed, Carmen will never be forgotten.

Carmen Gonzales died on January 2, 2016. She was preceded in death by her mother Jovita Quintero, father Nieves Quintero, brothers Reynaldo Quintero, Rudolfo Quintero, Edward Quintero and sister Manuelita Quintero and brother-in-law Tony Gil. Carmen’s family includes her husband, Juan (John) N. and her children, Sharon (James) Wilkosz, Angel (Rich) Fish, John Adam Gonzales, and Abraham Gonzales; grandchildren, Austin Wilkosz, Cameron Wilkosz, Aliyah Fish, Mason Gonzales, and Ryan Gonzales; siblings, Antonia Gil of Austin, TX; Faustino and Isabel Quintero of Holland; Ramon and Anita Quintero of Holland; Richard and Mary Quintero of Austin, TX, Robert and Irma Quintero of Dallas, TX; Joe Nieves Quintero; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a photo or sign the online guestbook.

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