|Grandaunt Margarite -1902 - age 15|
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Margarite PIÑA (1886-1980)
Aunt Margarite PIÑA---my only grandaunt I met and remember. In the summer of 1968, we took a visit to New York City with her to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes. I have a photo of my brother, Gib, and Margarite with me. I remember this was taken with my first Kodak Instamatic camera. She always made us laugh with her stories. She would remember my birthday with a card and $2 cash every year. She was a great letter writer. She died in 1980.
In 2000, after my maternal GABUZDA family reunion, I got interested in my father’s family sides. I wrote to my cousin, Jack COOPER, Uncle Bud’s (my father’s older brother) oldest son. Bud had most of the photos and documents of his parents and aunt. Most of these older family photo treasures are copies I made of his pictures.
Margarite PIÑA was the first born in Brooklyn, New York, 27 July 1887. She shared her mother’s name Margaret GUNTHER who married Ramon PIÑA, 20 years her senior, in 1886. Her father was born in Cuba in 1847 and emigrated to New York by 1876. Her mother was born in Brooklyn in 1867 with French/German heritage.
Margarite trained to be a teacher in the New York City public schools. She focused on Remedial Reading Skills. She retired in 1952 after 45 years of teaching. She spent her summers tutoring and traveling with friends.
Most of her life she lived with her parents or her siblings. She never married.
I remember visiting her weeks before she died. She is buried at Everwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. She bought a dozen plots in 1917 (time of her father’s death) for $170. There are 4 graves with the allotment of 3 per grave. There are 8 family members buried here at this time. There is only one tombstone with 3 names, which includes Margarite with her parents. The gold attachment on the tomb stone says “Endowment Fund.” This means that Margarite paid for eternal care of this area.