Elvira Barcelo Diaz passed away peacefully on June 19, 2020 with her loving daughter by her side. She was 98 years old.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Elvira (or Cusita, as she was known to friends and family), emigrated at the age of 40 to Miami, Florida after fleeing with her young family from Fidel Castro’s Communist takeover in 1962. It was in Miami that she began to shape a new life in a new world – learning English and American customs so foreign to the life she had known. She became a US Citizen in 1978 and would never return to her precious Cuba that she said she preferred to keep in her memory as it was. From Miami she and her family settled in Hoboken, New Jersey, where she would become a lifelong resident.
Elvira worked for over 20 years as a seamstress and was a member of the Ladies Garment Union of Hoboken. She was a dedicated mother and grandmother who was passionate about her family; helping to raise not only her own children, but her children’s children who came to live with her later in her life. She would joke that she was “The Abuela” to half of Hoboken as generations of kids came to her home for her famous black beans and rice and chicken soup which she would feed to everyone who walked through the door. Cusita truly enjoyed spending time with her family, her dominoes game, and had a particular love for baseball and especially for the New York Yankees, whose games she would watch well into the night.
Elvira was predeceased by her husband Hipolito Diaz Senior who passed away in 1973. Surviving are her two devoted children, her five grandchildren and their spouses and her five great-grandchildren. Hipolito Diaz, Junior of Englewood Cliffs, NJ and Maria Elena Atkinson (nee Diaz) of Hoboken, NJ; Tamara J. Diaz of Providence, R.I., Rolando Diaz of Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Rachel and Matthew Marrin of Little Silver, NJ, Michelle and Michael Pachos of Fort Lee, NJ, Patrick and Danielle Atkinson of East Hanover, NJ; Olivia Atkinson Marrin and Charlotte Barcelo Marrin of Little Silver, NJ, Mia Josephina Pachos of Fort Lee, NJ, and Samantha Anne Atkinson and Camryn Lauren Atkinson of East Hanover, NJ.
Visitation will take place from 3-7pm on Friday, June 26th at Failla McKnight Memorial Home, 533 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am on Saturday June 27th at Saints Peter and Paul RC Church, also in Hoboken. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking instead, to please consider a donation to The Alzheimer’s Association in Elvira’s name.