Maria Elena was a friend of the world. She was one of the first persons to immigrate to the United States 27 years ago, she carried the roots of her hometown throughout her existence. She had an incredible ability to communicate in many languages and her engaging personality allowed people from all walks of life to endear themselves to her. Whether in her early days as a classmate in the Liceo Tarija Class of 1972 or her early professional years working for Banco Nacional de Bolivia in La Paz, Bolivia, Maria Elena was devoted to her friends and family first and foremost. These lifelong relationships with friends were her source of strength and truly the most important aspect of her life that she focused on. Her adventurous spirit, passion and enthusiasm to travel the world landed her friendships on every continent.
She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1984 to attend school, bright-eyed and driven to start a new life in the United States. In spite o some initial language barriers, maria Elena was never deterred and quickly adapted to her surroundings with immediate life long friendships. She was driven, ambitious, and had a passion for the difficult things in life. Nothing was impossible for her. In 1985, she met the love of her life Craig Rose. They later moved close to Winchester, Virginia, where she gave birth to the two most precious gifts of her life, a son Andrew and later her daughter Stephanie, to whom she devoted the rest of her life. Maria Elena raised her family here and had a strong appreciation for the traditions and beauty of the historical Virginia and DC area.
While living in Virginia, she was one of only a handful of Hispanics within a 50 mile radius and although she was a minority in this rural part of Virginia her ability communicate in several languages quickly spread through the community. she was asked and quickly volunteered to translate for multiple organizations including hospitals, doctors, courts, aiding numerous local migrant workers and other agencies. It was always her desire to help others. She also worked professionally for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and assisted the agency in navigating through several disaster recovery efforts. Maria Elena had a strong desire to return to the south and the Rose family later moved to Orlando, Florida in 1999 as her husband received an employment opportunity with Disney. her warmth and generosity to friends and family allowed her to receive an unofficial key to the city from her native city of Tarija, and be given the title of "Ambassador of Orlando for Tarija, Bolivia". They knew it was a blessing to have a member from their homeland here. She took great joy in the sight of others enjoying life and never asked for anything in return. Maria Elena's generosity and friendship never discriminated - she was a friend to the rich, poor, powerful, and defenseless.
Her three year battle with cancer did not slow her down and would not define her. she acknowledged the disease, but never allowed it to divert her way of life. she carried on as normal, living her life to the fullest - attending the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, cruising with her family, traveling to Bolivia where she was welcomed as a dignitary, she witnessed her daughter run in the Boston Marathon, and spent time with her son whom was launching a career and living in New York City. Her happiness was derived from the happiness of others. The philosophy she lived by and preached to her family was to consistently aim for success, fight adversity, and to acknowledge the hardships of others. She lived for other sand not for herself. Her priorities to the end were God, Family, Friends & LOVE. A saint to the end, she was reunited with the Holy Father on April 20, 2011, surrounded by her loving family She was the daughter of Elsa Marquez whom predeceases her, and is survived her father Raul Marquez of Tarija, Bolivia. She is also survived by her sisters Sylvia Feuda of Orlando, Gloria Marquez of Pompano Beach, her daughter Stephanie Rose, son Andrew Rose and husband Craig Rose from Orlando. The family will be receiving friends from 4 - 6 pm at the Daily Chapel of Holy Family Catholic Church on Monday, April 25, 2011. The funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, April 26th, 2010 at 10:30 am at Holy Family Catholic Church.