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Maria O. Cuellar

May 7, 1930 August 7, 2015
Maria O. Cuellar
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Obituary for Maria O. Cuellar

Maria O. Cuellar, of Aurora, Colorado peacefully passed on the afternoon of Friday, August 7, 2015. She was surrounded by all of her children (Maggie Williamson, Marty C. Cooper-Klasek, Oscar David Cuellar, Mark Cuellar, Amanda Taiclet, and Nelson Cuellar) and grandchildren.

Born on May 7, 1930 in El Líbano (Tolima), Colombia, Maria worked as a hair stylist and seamstress when she met her husband, Oscar Leon Cuellar (now deceased). In 1959, Maria and their first 3 children joined her husband in Washington, D.C. after he completed his 5-year residence to establish himself as a consulting radio engineer. After 3 years in D.C., the growing family of 7 moved to Tucson, Arizona for 5 years where they had the last of their 6 children. In 1967, they moved to Colorado and have since called the Denver and Aurora areas their home.
Maria was an amazingly tenacious and disciplined individual. She was a kind soul with strong values that finished everything she started and believed in completing tasks to perfection. She taught herself English by listening to educational cassette tapes late into the nights and obtained her U.S. Citizenship soon after arriving in Denver. In addition to a relentless commitment to family, Maria was a master seamstress and legendary cook. She overcame mortal fears and learned to drive and swim in her 40s. In her early 50s, she acquired the love for playing tennis and skiing. In her late 50s she started flamingo guitar lessons and climbed a Fourteener (Quandary Peak) with her son, Mark, who also taught her to ski. No one had a greener thumb with plants, compassion for animals, nor a more generous heart as she would make time to volunteer at several local retirement homes and sponsor children in third world countries.

In 2001, Maria was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and given a 6-month life expectancy. In 2005, doctors gave her a 3-month terminal diagnosis when the cancer returned. Over the next 10 years, she not only overcame cancer twice again and battled numerous health complications, but gave her family the gift of time to build memories and unite their lives to one another, before succumbing to a peaceful passing at the home of her oldest daughter, Maggie, in Monument, Colorado. She could straighten a crooked stick with the power of her will, angelic patience, and the tenderness of her love. She taught by example and inspired without saying a word.

Maria left a wake of unwavering faith and selfless dedication to her family of 6 children, 14 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren. Thank you, Mamacíta, for instilling pride in ourselves and our homes by always surrounding us with beauty from your labors and for showing us unconditional love. Rest now in the arms of our Lord. We will love and miss you all the days of our lives.

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