Ophelia Maria (Martinez) Barela, 88, was born November 18, 1924 to Guadalupe (Lupe) and Manuel Martinez in Gardner, Colorado. She peacefully passed on to eternal life on April 27, 2013. She was preceded in death by her husband Bennie Barela to whom she was married for sixty-three years. Mrs. Barela is survived by eight children, Gaspar Barela, Eileen Baracz (Danny), Sam Barela (Ventura), Fred Barela (Joan), Jean Miller (Larry), Steve Barela (Ida), Betty Medina (Darrell) and Tina Saliba (Joe). She is also survived by seventeen grandchildren, twenty nine great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends. She is survived by siblings George Martinez, Fred Martinez (Bernice), Wilfred Martinez (Marti), Eugene Martinez (Viola), Esther Cantu, Carmen Cordova and Rudy Martinez (Nancy). As a homemaker she was a wonderful cook and loved being with her family. Weekends were spent with a houseful of people full of laughter and love. She was a beloved mother and grandmother-raising three generations of kids. Memories are filled with her tiny frame, kind and gentle loving - nonjudgmental, full of advice and a warm smile; that same tiny frame full of fire and stern when it was needed. Her strength and spirit was the foundation that kept our family love strong. Maria had a wonderful sense of humor, her wit was quick and sharp. Although you never knew what she was going to say you knew it would make you laugh. She loved to read - often taking the entire day to read the daily newspaper. Grandma was a good Christian and took her faith in God very seriously. We will miss her dearly...she is with Grandpa now and she is watching over us... Visitation will be held from 5PM to 7PM, with a Rosary at 7PM on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at The Springs Funeral Services, 3115 E. Platte Avenue. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10AM, Friday, May 3, 2013 at St. Mary's Cathedral, 22 W. Kiowa, burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.
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Published in The Gazette on May 2, 2013