She is survived by her son Joe Menendez and wife Tara, daughter Kathleen Menendez Burgess and husband John, and two granddaughters Ashley Menendez Morales and husband Hector, and Olivia Lee Menendez, and two great grandchildren Jordan Xavier Morales and Liliana Thalia Morales.
She was born on March 21, 1931 in Tampa, Fla., the third daughter to Jose and Generosa Torres, who immigrated from Asturias, Spain. After graduating from Hillsborough High School, she attended the nursing school at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, La. which was run by the Sisters of Charity, a group of Catholic nurses, along with the Medical College of the University of Louisiana. She studied with the Nuns and graduated with a Registered Nursing Degree. Charity Hospital was the second largest and longest continually running hospital in the country until August 2005.
She returned to her home and parents in Tampa, Fla. and worked as a nurse. It is there that she met her husband, Dr. Reinaldo Rojas Menendez. They were married on Sept. 7, 1951. After marriage they moved to the Norfolk, Va. area where she worked as a surgical nurse and he completed his surgical residency. It is there that they began their family with the births of their two children.
They moved to Emporia, Va. in 1961 when the community built Greensville Memorial Hospital. She worked as her husband’s office nurse until the creation of the Emporia Medical Associates. She retired from her career in nursing at that time.
She was a long time member of the First Presbyterian Church where she enjoyed singing in the choir and was at times a featured soloist. She was in the community choral group, and was also a soloist at numerous weddings, community events, and dedications.
She was an active and dedicated member of the Greensville Memorial Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, where she also served her time as president. The planning, preparation, and execution of the Auxiliary Ball and Higher Fever Follies brought not only much needed donations to the hospital, but so much excitement, joy, and comradery within the community.
She was very proud and honored to serve her community by helping the local police dept. and court system by serving as a Spanish interpreter.
She was a mother, who was very active in her children’s extracurricular activities through the years. A fabulous 50’s – 60’s kind of mom with a little bit of “Lucy and Ricky Ricardo” for flavor. She will be missed dearly by all of her family and friends. Her family finds comfort in that she is now back where she longed to be, with her late husband, Reinaldo, of 53 years who preceded her in death.
We know her soul left this earth knowing that she had truly been loved and had also lovingly touched the lives of others. What more could one want from a blessed and richly lived life.
We sincerely and most heartfelt want to thank the devoted caregivers and the hospice staff of many years for their excellent care. We are so grateful for these individuals who make it possible to live out one’s life in the comfort of their home.
Those serving as pallbearers are Keith Morris, George Grizzard, David Prince, Dennis Allen, Bobby Ferguson, Ted Lee, and honorary pallbearers Bob Wayne Mitchell and Tommy Hunt Rose.
The Menendez family will have visitation at Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave. in Emporia, Va. 23847, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on September 4, 2017. A private graveside service will be held at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, Rev. Charles Moore officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorial donations be made to the Dr. Reinaldo Menendez Scholarship Fund at Richard Bland College 11301 Johnson Rd. Petersburg, Va 23805.
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806 Brunswick Ave.
Emporia, VA 23847