Estella Hortencia Anaya of Cheyenne, Wyoming passed away at the age of 97 on June 19, 2020 at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. She went to our Lord in peace with family by her side. She was born to parents Santos and Sophia Chavez on July 10, 1922 in the Spanish colonial town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Estella was bilingual and spoke English and Spanish.
She is survived by her sister, Peggie Ortega of Roswell, New Mexico; her children, Able (Erminia), Leonor (Ramon), Frances (Ramon), Delia Martha, Jessie (Steve), John (Marie), George, Bernadette (Ray), and Antoinette; numerous grandchildren; and a host of nieces, and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband Lucio from Tecolote, New Mexico; her mother and father, Santos and Sophia Chavez; two sons, Gonzalo (Chalo) and Lawrence Michael, siblings Desidario (Jeff), Arsenio, Veronica (Betty), Benny, Peggy and Josie; granddaughters, Jennifer and Miranda; close friend, Theodore “Teddy”; and other loving relatives and close friends.
Estella attended school in Las Vegas. A great deal of her adolescence was during The Great Depression and this experience humbled Estella and taught her to be grateful in life. She loved to share stories from her childhood and expressed the many trials and hardships her family endured during those trying times. As a young girl she learned the value of being resourceful and was quick to barter with neighbors and friends to help make ends meet. Estella was a strong, proud, and courageous woman with great determination. She was a fierce “Mama Bear” and living proof that women are capable of anything.
Estella was a devout Catholic who followed her faith. She especially loved the Saints and the Rosary prayers. In her youth she dreamed of being in the armed forces and lived her dream through other military family members. She loved coffee and her little cookies. She loved shopping and was a collector of antiques, dolls, tea pots, miniatures, knick- knacks, jewelry, birds and flowers. She loved Bingo and trips to Central City, Colorado and South Dakota. In her earlier years, she loved to sew and hand embroider. Her favorite stitch was the French knot. Estella loved to dance and attend family parties, but most importantly she loved her family.
Estella was a phenomenal cook. Our family will always remember the smell of her house when she roasted green chilies. During Christmas she made her annual biscochitos and Torta de Huevo. As a child, her family organized parties to gather pinon nuts, which remained a favorite of hers throughout her life. She used pinon nuts in many of her delicious meals - mincemeat empanadas and empanaditas to name a couple. When her sons returned from their annual hunting trips, Estella would make jerky and portion bags for the entire family.
Estella was a formidable woman and the matriarch of the family. She lived on her own until the age of 94 and was the strongest amongst us. Miss Anaya, Grandma Estella or mom, we all called her something different, but her absence will be mourned by all the same. There will never be another like Estella Anaya. We will hold her in our hearts always, cherish all the memories, and look forward to the day we see her again- “It is not goodbye Estella, we will meet again in another time and place. We love you! “
The family wishes to thank all of those who cared for Estella during this last year, with special thanks to Dr. Rivard from PACE and PACE staff. Additionally, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Dr. Kollipara and Dr. Yarlagadda from the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and hospital staff for their kindness and great care for our beloved Estella. Lastly, many thanks to the volunteers at Meals-on-Wheels.
A Funeral Liturgy and interment have taken place. Services are entrusted to Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home, 2222 Russell Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001.
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