Carmen A. Rijos Santana passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Visiting for Mrs. Rijos will begin on Friday, June 8, 2018, at 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. A private cremation will follow.
Carmen was born in Higuillar, Dorado, Puerto Rico on April 01, 1941 and was proud of her heritage and roots. She moved to New York in her early 20s and braved the immersive environment of the city. Later in life, she made roots in Newark, NJ where she lived for five decades and carved a life out for herself and children.
Carmen was known to her friends and family as a vigorous supporter of justice, always in defense of those who were wronged, less fortunate or unable to defend themselves. She viewed status in life based on how you treated others instead of wealth and power. She always made an effort to teach her children to love animals and help others when help could be offered, treat people with respect, and share what we had, however little, with those in need.
In the community, Carmen was beloved by her neighbors; often watching entire generations be born and leave the nest. She fed the homeless, poor, and offered what she could to those with nothing. She lived by the word of God and had an endless array of love that blanketed everyone she knew. She was a fighter and held on to the will to live until the very end.
Carmen can be described as a strong woman who raised her children and grandchildren with the tender hand of love. She is survived by her five children, Wanda Cabrera-Lopez, Diana Cabrera, Evelyn Rijos Ortiz, Sandra Cabrera, and Richard Rijos; her granddaughter and great-granddaughter, whom she raised as her own, Cassandra and Allison, and her six beloved grandchildren: Adrian, Steven, Jaquelin, Eileen, Angelica, Rosalinda. She is also survived by her six great-grandchildren, Anthony Jr., Anastasia, Janasha, Javyon, Savannah, Xavier, Jade, and Liam. She was the sister of Zoraida Gonzalez and aunt of Aida Garcia.
She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Quintina Santana-Rijos and Pablo Rijos, and her siblings: Paula, Jose Antonio, Miguel Angel, Iluminado, Felicita and Julian.
She now joins her mother and father and brothers and sisters in eternal life among the Lord Jesus and his angels, forever cemented in our hearts.
Her favorite quote in life was “He who does not love animals, children, or plants, does not love life.”