Maria E. Ayala, age 85, beloved widow of the Late Juan Ayala has responded to the call of her Lord on February 13, 2021 in her home while in the care of her children who never left her side. Maria was a beautiful woman full of life. The daughter of the late Sebastian Santiago and the late Francisca Ortega who was born in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico but at an early age, came to the United States where she resided in Brooklyn, NY and after marrying her beloved husband, relocated to Connecticut; If you met Maria you never forgot Maria, her joy, her heart, her spirit was one which made a mark wherever she went, whatever she did, and the Love she shared was demonstrated in everything she touched. Maria was a woman of faith who Loved the Lord with all her heart, mind and soul. Every morning, mid day and evening, her focus in life was praying without ceasing. Praying for those who were sick, praying for those who were healthy, praying for her family, praying for her church, praying for her friends, praying non stop day and night and undoubtedly even praying for any enemies. Nothing could take her away from the passion she had for Christ. She was a active, vital Member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church for over 60 years. She was part of the Cofrada of the St. Mary's Church and part of the Hijas de Maria. She Loved singing to the Lord, and the endless words that can be used could never be enough to describe the dedication and conviction she had in her heart that her Lord and Savior was always by her side. Maria had a blessed pair of hands who would always help many who would somehow have the need to relocate joints because of injuries, assist in relieving pain and ultimately had no reservation in helping anyone who needed her blessed touch. Maria had such grace that would always have arms full of love to embrace everyone around her, not just like any other person, but a special touch, with unconditional Love like the Lord always placed in her heart. She never cared about anything which some would possibly describe someone as being "different" because in her eyes, everyone was just someone she can love, someone she can give to, someone to welcome and many admit that there are very few with the heart Maria had. She instilled her faith in the heart of her family throughout her life, where today they understand that with God they have everything without Him they lack it all. There wasn't much Maria wanted and even in the most recent of times her family would ask about providing her things which were considered things to make life more comfortable or easier to accomplish things, regardless, none of those things she wanted, and her only response was "I'm fine, I don't need that, I don't need anything but allowing me the time to pray." If you were blessed in knowing Maria, you knew in your heart, in your mind, in your spirit that her Prayers were heard, that you had been presented frequently to God for his protection, for his favor and his non stop blessings. She traveled throughout many places throughout different areas of the world, one thing she enjoyed doing as much as she could. Of course, as years passed and her health became challenged, she could not travel to the extent she had done, but those memories she had were those things she cherished in her heart. She loved her family and considered each and every one of them the light of her eyes. As years passed, the light of her eyes never dimmed, but that same light all her children, Grandchildren and Great grandchildren saw in her. Her position as " Matriarch of the Family" was one she lived up to, but raising the bar to levels hard to reach for future generations! Besides her love, her food and home, she knew the best thing she can give her entire family was the prayers for them in everything they did, everywhere they went, every possible moment she could. Maria will be sadly missed by all and a great loss for the entire St. Mary's Parish Community and in the City of Bridgeport as a whole.
Maria is survived by her children, Myrna Reyes and her spouse Edgar, Nelson Ayala and his fiance Fiona and Milton Ayala and his spouse Jeanette Nieves Ayala; her grandchildren Edgar Reyes, Jr. and his spouse Kelly, Yasmine Reyes and her spouse Angel Espada, Nelson Ayala, Jr., Gianna Ayala, Augustine Perez, Jr. and Sasha M. Nieves; Her great grandchildren Jaylene Reyes, Olivia Reyes, Gracie Reyes and Adriel Espada; her siblings Sebastian Santiago, Jr. and Sister Ana T. Laureano; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and endless friends whom will sorely miss her.
A Precious Gem is hard to find. A precious Gem could never be replaced. That precious Gem many called Maria, today is undoubtedly basking in God's Never ending Grace! Until we see you again!
Friends are invited to attend calling hours on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 from 5:30 P.M.- 8:00 P.M. at the Funeraria Luz de Paz, 426 East Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, CT;
A Mass of Christian Burial is planned for Thursday, February 18, 2021 beginning at 10:00 A.M. DIRECTLY At St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 25 Sherman Street, Bridgeport, CT followed by interment in the Lakeview Cemetery, Bridgeport, CT
An online Register book and Memorial Webpage has been established as a place where you may share your thoughts, memories, prayers, pictures and so much more but is only found at www.luzdepaz.com
Please be advised that due to the current Corona Virus Pandemic the Health Department Regulations and the State of Connecticut have implemented the status of Phase 2 for the protection and safety of all the residents of Connecticut. The Following guidelines are being enforced and not ones which we can negotiate as the health and wellbeing of everyone in our home is our number 1 priority. Therefore, we request the cooperation of anyone considering coming to the viewing/visitation times do so but abiding by the following guidelines.
-During viewing times the ONLY ENTRANCE into the Funeral Home will take place through the BACK ENTRANCE of the Funeral Home (FRONT ENTRANCE CLOSED AT ALL TIMES)
-In accordance to the Parameters set forth in Phase 2, of COVID 19, by the State of Connecticut, a maximum number of persons are permitted inside our facility at the same time and any persons above that permitted amount will not be granted access until those friends which have entered the facility safely exit allowing that same number of guests, to enter. Again, the maximum number of persons, family , friends, acquaintances, elderly etc. cannot and will not exceed such maximum amount. Please understand, our efforts will entail announcing when a line is outside and people have not exited so that those inside can consider those outside in line. We can only encourage others that are NOT immediate family to kindly go outside, therefore permitting those patiently in line to exit enter the funeral home masks are ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED.
-Entrance is granted into our facility for those who exhibit a mask which covers their MOUTH AND NOSE and such mask MUST REMAIN ON CORRECTLY during entire visit. We regret to inform all guests that regardless of relationship to deceased and/ or family member, such safety measures are not up for debate, nor negotiable by our firm and we cannot compromise the integrity of the safety measures set forth by exceeding the permitted numbers or excuse anyone for not utilizing the required face coverings.
-HUGGING AND /OR KISSING any member of the immediate family and/or friends is strongly discouraged, but be advised the Funeral Home, its representatives and or staff members assisting throughout the services cannot and will not assume any responsibility for anyone becoming exposed due to them not adhering to the rules and regulations set forth while inside our facility nor in the funeral services for such deceased in their entirety. Hand Sanitizer is readily available upon entrance into the facility and exiting the facility and in other parts throughout our facility.
Please remember everyone, we understand the trialing time our Country, State and City is found in. Therefore, we are requesting anyone whom is considering attending a service which will be held by our firm, in our facility to consider the following suggestions:
-We are requesting ALL those in attendance to attend with a mindset of our unwavering commitment to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth of such policies and procedures, only created by our Health experts for the benefit of everyone in attendance in as a society in General. No one has any other intention and/ or reason but to protect the health and well being of us all and any interaction other than that as ladies and gentlemen and as such expect the same interactions in return. Any other method and/or interaction is not considered appropriate and will terminate any persons visit immediately. It is our exclusive purpose of protection of your health, and those in attendance at the services from possible exposure to a virus which as affected so many in a negative fashion. If we have to bring something to someone's attention regarding such procedures not being adhered, we ask kindly to keep in mind it is not our goal to humiliate anyone, but yet kindly remind everyone regarding our masks if not covering our nose and mouths to please do so.
-We do not know many, relationships etc. nor is our staff aware of all relationships, nor will it be part of what our intended purpose to have to address anything inside or outside but in the same fashion we are trying to maintain a safe and comfortable atmosphere, you allow us and assist us in making sure such integrity of the safety is never compromised. We want you to go home, the same way you have arrived, healthy and well!
-Nobody within our firm will ask anyone to do something to be spiteful, nor be mean or intrusive, etc. and we understand its a sensitive time, but not doing so, exposes you not only to a virus but having to possibly deal with another funeral because of not keeping such details in mind. Therefore, we are kindly requesting that any interactions between all staff and Directors with the public be considered our way of caring....WE lose nothing by not caring, we lose nothing by walking away, but not caring is not in our DNA and has always been something we have demonstrated throughout our years of service.
-You have come to expect this from our firm and nothing less. If need be, and more than once a person is asked to be sure your mask is in its place then we it will have to be addressed again and although excuses as to why any lack of adherence to policies and procedures set forth for everyone's health are understandable, but adherence to the safety and wellbeing of yourself and others is not negotiable and deliberate violation of the rules set forth by the Connecticut Department of health and the Governor's executive orders, will have to be addressed accordingly. If cooperation is not provided upon request, you may be asked to depart our facility immediately and entrance will no longer be granted to prevent possible exposures. Again, this is not our mission, not our goal, yet an atmosphere which all may share inside and outside our firm about a life well lived.
-If outside you want to remain without any protection we are not here to tell people anything while not inside our firm, that is your decision, so please keep in mind, it is the protocol uncomfortable or not, also not meant to be mean or condescending. Again, such actions are meant to try to correct and/or prevent a possible exposure from occurring that may cost the life of someone with a delicate health condition whether it be towards yourself or another person.
Everyone has the right to their opinion and do as they wish, but just like we all must have a level of decorum when at certain places, functions and public locations, and municipal facilities and more, adherence to such policies is required wherever we go. We strive to make this a seamless process but of course, it is only with the full cooperation of everyone in attendance to follow instructions thus facilitating and making this process one of least involvement of any family member due to non compliance of such rules and regulations by any guest or distant family member. Above all, the least possible stress to a family handling one of the most challenging times ever in their lives.
Finally, please remember that those allowed to enter to consider those that will remain outside awaiting entrance, so we do ask that we consider coming through, paying respects, greeting the family in a manner consistent with the same level of consideration we would appreciate from others towards us. We do not like to continue announcing the need for people to exit, but we also understand that we must do whatever we need to in order to accommodate everyone who has taken from their time, during a pandemic, to honor the life of the dearly departed! Thank you all for your consideration and cooperation!