03/03/2016 - Boise, Idaho, USA
Obituary published by the Salt Lake Tribune:
12/21/34 ~ 3/3/16
Surrounded by love and in the arms of her daughter and grandchildren, the one and only Maria Totorica passed away peacefully on March 3, 2016.
Maria Nieves Torrealday Arana was born on 12/21/1934 in Busturia, Spain to Ciriano Torrealday and Maria Matilde Arana. She was raised in the Basque region of Spain. During this time it was a struggle for Basques due to the oppression of the Franco regime. Strength and survival were instilled in Maria's body. These would both become important skills for the remainder of her life. Her parents died at a young age, leaving her to fend for herself and brother.
In 1961, she married Andres Totoricaguena in the city of Bilbao. In the early seventies, she and her husband, accompanied by their three children emigrated from Spain to begin their new lives in the United States. They would eventually settle in West Jordan, Utah where she would have another child. During that time she worked hard, not only to provide for her family, but to also learn English and give her children the best upbringing she could. Her work ethic was impeccable, which was passed down to all her children. Being a mother and spending time with her children brought her much joy and fulfillment.
Working in a nursing home for most of her life, she played her natural nurturing role to ensure every person was taken care of, fed, and loved. Maria enjoyed gardening, thrift store shopping, cooking, and dancing. Eventually she was blessed with her greatest joy - her four grandchildren. They became the center of her world.
Sadly her husband passed in 1998. In 2001 Maria lost her leg at the age of 66. This forced her into retirement. She then moved to Boise, ID to be with her daughter, son in law, and grandchildren. This event tested Maria's true courage and determination. The loss a limb did not stop her from living her life to its fullest. She loved spending time with her grandchildren. Maria was an inspiration to all those who were in her life or came in contact with her. Truly she was one of a kind. Maria had a flair and love of fashion and this was manifested in her appearance daily.
More than an obituary, this is a love letter and a tribute to our mother and grandmother. Maria was strong-willed, determined, independent, while also honest, graceful, witty, and incredibly beautiful. To her daughter and granddaughters she was a true definition of a woman and roll model. We loved her for all of her complexity. A true class act with a youthful spirit that stayed with her until the very end. She lit up every room she entered. She was unforgettable. Though she passed away, she continues to live on through each of us. The best parts of each us came directly from her. The force of her strength, personality, and beauty has and will continue to shape each of us.
Proceeded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her brother, Ignacio (Martha) Torrealday; her four children, David Totorica, Richard (Kimberly) Totorica, Elizabeth (Daniel) Totorica Woolstenhulme, and Ashley Totorica; her grandchildren, Chelsea Bennett, Chase Bennett, Christopher Bennett and Danielle Woolstenhulme.
We would also like to acknowledge and thank, Lisa Easterday and Sabina Horkley who were loved by Maria.
We say goodbye to our mother and grandmother, but in body only. Her heroic spirit will live on in each of us for the rest of our lives. Goian bego, Ama. Rest in peace, Mother.
A private family and friends interment will take place March, 12th at 1:00 p.m. at West Jordan City Cemetery followed by a Celebration of Life where friends and loved ones may gather to remember Maria from 02:30 to 06:00 p.m. at the home of Dana Swensen, 6769 West 13400 South, Herriman, Utah, 84096.
Please contact Maria's granddaughter, Chelsea Bennett, at (208) 371-3899 regarding cards of condolence, or any additional information. You may also contact Elizabeth Totorica at 208.866.1007.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Mar. 9, 2016