Contreras, Armida "Sookie"
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Armida "Sookie" Contreras, 78, has joined our God in heaven after a courageous battle with heart and kidney disease. She was a tremendously strong mother, Nana, great-grandmother, Tia, sister, cousin, comadre and devoted friend to many. She dedicated her life to her family and spent many years serving the Catholic Church as a parishioner for Sacred Heart Church, in the church choir, making delicious food in the booths for the fiestas and worked as a dedicated employee in the offices of Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart Churches. She was a member of the Cursillo family as a participant and spent many years as a mentor. She loved to cook and her dishes fed many family and friends that always felt at home in her kitchen; including a large number of policemen and firemen that joined our brothers as they came by for lunch or dinner. Her homemade tortillas and tamales were the best and always in demand. She was born in Phoenix on February 18, 1932 to Albert and Rita Rodriguez. She married Joe A. Contreras Sr., on November 5, 1950 and shared 51 years of marriage to "Longo." She is survived by her five sons: Joe, Albert (daughter-in-law Laura), Frank, Jim, and George (Monica); her two daughters Sophie Bejarano and Sonya. Fifteen grandchildren: Lisa Lerma (Bobby), Lori (Mike Walfoort), Sonia (Fernando Ortega), Jennifer, Kindra, Frankie (Ana), Tahlia, Anthony (Devina), Joey, Nick, Jami, Tori, Jeremy, James, and Krissy ; five great-grandchildren Isaac, Aaliyah, Analisa, Connor, and Liliana with three great-grandchildren on their way; her sisters Beatrice Sordia, Rose Sandoval, Adeline Madril, Irene Cathaway, and brother George Rodriguez and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband "Longo," 1 sister and 2 brothers. Services were held Thursday, December 9, 2010. The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Valley and donations can be made to them if you so desire. Mom/Nana, you will be missed but we are at peace knowing you are with Dad/Tata again and jitterbugging all across the heavens. You will be forever in our hearts.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Dec. 8 to Dec. 10, 2010