Lovingly known as Gina, Mamita, and Mamama, completed her life’s journey and entered into eternal rest at the age of 101 on May 18, 2016, in League City, Texas, surrounded by her loved ones. She resided in this area during the past 36 years. Ms. Santos was born in Comerío, Puerto Rico, on January 27, 1915, to parents Conrado Santos and Justina Carrucini. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Héctor Ortiz-Torres, and siblings, Sixto, Adrián, Angélica, Francisco, Antonio, Conrado, and Rosa Amelia Santos.
Left to cherish her memories are her only child, Normita and husband Ray Rodríguez, whom she adored; her grandchildren, Normie, Ray, Jr., Amy and Ryan Rodríguez; and great-grandchildren, Katrina, Christopher, and Addison, who lovingly called her “Mamama.” She is also survived by sisters, Lydia, Rosin, Elba and husband Victor, and Maria Luisa; sister-in-law, Ruth O. Martínez; numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, friends, and very special “sons” Radames, Robert, Ricardo y Ronald Rodríguez and their respective families, who loved her so deeply.
Upon graduating from high school, she went to nursing school and obtained her Nursing degree, a career she devoted her life to and proudly exemplified. Through the years she selflessly placed the needs of her family and loved ones above her own, being there for them during their times of need or sickness. She was a devoted daughter, sister, spouse, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Those who fortunately knew her will remember her as the loving, caring person that she was.
Being a woman of faith with a deep sense of service, she relocated to New York during World War II, in response to an urgent call for registered nurses at the VA Hospital in Staten Island. Because of her love and compassion to her patients she was affectionately known as “The Flower of the Sash.” At the end of the war she returned to her beloved Puerto Rico to welcome back two of her brothers and friends as they returned from war. It was then when she met her future husband Héctor Ortiz-Torres. She continued with her nursing career, working at well-known hospitals in San Juan until her retirement in 1971.
Mamita had a green thumb, and the yards in her homes in Puerto Rico were covered with a variety of beautiful tropical plants, which were admired by everyone. She also loved to methodically crochet, embroider, and sew clothes for her family and friends. Some of her most renowned pieces were those gowns she made for her granddaughter Normie, when she was voted queen of the Lunar Rendezvous Festival in 1989. She spent long days and nights meticulously beading sequins to those gowns she had designed for her granddaughter.
The family wishes to express our appreciation to her team of doctors, nurses, and aides who cared for her throughout the years she lived in this area, specifically those at Clear Creek Clinic, Coastal Eye Associates, Clear Lake Cardiovascular, Clear Lake Audiology, and the team members of ProMedic Home Health Care, who lovingly cared for her.
Her family also extends special gratitude to the nurses, aides, and all staff members at Baywind Skilled Nursing Facility for the love and gentle care they provided to our loving mother. Another special acknowledgment and forever gratefulness to the members of Faith Community Hospice LLC, who tenderly watched over our mother during her last months and who embraced us with comfort and courage until her last breath. You were angels sent to us from Above.
The family extends an invitation to those who knew her for a memorial service to be held at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, St. Mary Catholic Church, 1612 East Walker Street, League City, with Deacon Sam Dell’Olio officiating.