It is with great sadness that the family of Tillie Gomez announces her passing after a brief illness, on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at the age of 92 years. Tillie was born March 4, 1927 in La Cienega, New Mexico.
Tillie will be remembered for her extraordinary life by her children, Shirley (Mike) Ortiz, Sally (Jim) Tenorio, Peter Gomez, Marvin Gomez and her thirty five children she fostered. Tillie will also be fondly remembered by her ten grandchildren Chris, Adrian, Anthony, Elizabeth, Luis, Sarah, Brian, Mia, Celeste, Sofia, and Fifteen Great grandchildren and one Great-Great granddaughter.
Tillie was predeceased in death by her husband Pete, daughter Judy, grandson Stewart, parents Martin and Julianita, Gurule, all six siblings Enrique, Manuelita, Eusebio, Della, Delfinia and Juan.
Tillie loved all her children, grandchildren and Great granddaughter equally. She was proud of each and every one of them. Every night before bed she would say a prayer for each and every one and say their names so that God knew who she was praying for. Even in her last week’s Tillie was praying and said she was making sure her children would be okay.
Tillie was always a great care taker, she nursed her husband for 25 years during his convalescence as a paraplegic. After his passing, she still had so much to give, so at the age of most people’s retirement Tillie set out to begin a new career. She began working as a Home Health Caregiver and also worked at the Holly Nursing Home. She worked there for 19 years and retired on her 84th birthday. During this period, Tillie helped care of many people much younger than her. She loved the elderly as she would say. I love to spend my breaks with the elderly. Tillie got some of that love and support back when she entered the InnovAge PACE program and The Villas at Sunny Acres Assisted Living facility, with tremendously loving, caring, compassionate Physicians, Nurses, and all the staff.
Tillie went deaf at the age of 3 and left her parents’ home, to live at the New Mexico school for the Deaf, and then her home with her husband. Her languages were Sign, English, and Spanish. She learned many trades through High School and one was to sew without a pattern. Her children always had beautiful clothes that she made. She had an opportunity to visit her school for the Deaf in Santa Fe, New Mexico at age 84. She was the oldest student to ever return to the school. The school offered her a free computer with a huge screen to keep in touch with her schoolmates, but she declined due to her arthritis which had gotten worse and made it difficult to sign. It became difficult for her to sign continuously as a method of communication, but she could still read lips, so it was important to be cautious of what we said in front of Tillie. At 86, she received her first transference hearing aid and could hear anyone without looking at them and hear tones for the first time. It was beautiful to hear her sing in Church for the first time in her life.
Tillie was having the time of her life and enjoying every moment of it. She always had a project she was working on. She was an amazing seamstress and made countless surgical caps, aprons, for the University of Colorado and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Any child that stayed with her always had beautiful dresses that Tillie made without a pattern. Her last big project was making adult waterproof bibs for children with special needs. All of her projects came from the heart, she gave her all in everything she did.
With someone who came from humble beginnings Tillie was able to visit some of the great sites of the world. She was present for the celebration of mass in the Vatican, looked up at the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, saw the ruins of Pompeii enjoyed the art masterpieces of Florence, walked the beaches of the Costa Del Sol (and to her surprise-sometimes nude beaches), traveled to our family roots in Spain, and stood at the tip of Baja to witness La Bufadora. She especially loved cruising and would say, ‘it’s like being rich for a week’. She experienced each new adventure with kid like exuberance, taking in everything around her. She loved to experience conferences with the Hispanic Nurses and PLCO and NLST. She attended lectures for health care and had a lot of input. The Nurses and all the other staff had a tremendous respect for her and included her in their events.
At the age of 89 Tillie was excited to have her own apartment in a big city for the first time in her life She met so many wonderful people, enjoyed going to senior activities, dinners with friends and many excursions. Tillie belonged to Thornton Senior Center where she was in a group of ‘Girls’ who were also in their nineties. Her social schedule was very hard to keep up with. She remained very active and made sure she walked her trail daily around Water World to stay in shape for walking the Donor Dash 5Ks in support of transplant patients with her son-in-law Jim. She entered several events with Jim. She clocked some very impressive time, with her best time at 53.33 minutes, at age 89. At 90 years she was unable to walk the 5K but was there to support the Donor Dash.
Her time working in the Nursing Home had a profound impact on her. Tillie witnessed firsthand the loneliness and lack of human contact for the Elderly and Disabled who lived in the Nursing Home. The one thing she did want to ask of everyone is to remember the most valuable thing you can give to someone is your time. To honor her memory, Please take the time to visit someone in a Nursing Home and bring them joy.
A Funeral Service in memory of Tillie will be held on Friday, April 12, 2019 with a 10:30 a.m. rosary and an 11:00 mass, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 9371 Wigham St, Thornton, Co 80229 with be beloved Priest, Father Warli, officiating. Reception following
A funeral service in Holly, Colorado will be held on Monday, April 22, 2019 at the St. Francis of Rome Catholic Church in Holly, Colorado with a 9:30 a.m. rosary and a 10:00AM Mass following. Inurnment will follow at the Sunnnyslope Cemetery in Bristol, Colorado. Reception to follow services.