Raquel Maria Cruz-Alvarez

CRUZ-ALVAREZ, DRA. RAQUEL MARIA, passed away peacefully at her home in Miami Lakes, Florida on February 21, 2014. She was born in Santa Isabel de las Lajas, Cuba, on August 20, 1930, to Juan Armando Cruz and Rosa Flores. She graduated from the University of Havana Medical School in 1954 and began her practice as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Havana. As a result of the political situation in Cuba, she immigrated to the United States in July 1962, settling in Miami where she lived for the rest of her life. Upon arriving in the United States, she trained and did her residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, becoming a Florida licensed physician. In 1968 she opened her private Ob/Gyn practice in Hialeah. Over the years, she delivered thousands of babies working from Hialeah Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. Upon closing her private practice in 1995, she began working as a gynecologist at CAC-Ramsay/Humana where she continued to work until five weeks before her death. Raquel's passion for her patients and her work was surpassed only by her passion for her family. She is survived by her beloved sons Albert A. del Castillo (and his wife Barbara) and Robert A. del Castillo (and his wife Mercedes); her beloved grandchildren Raquel, Albert, Jr., Danny, Nicole, Alexander, Robert, Jr., Allison and Armand; and her sister and brother-in-law Hilda and Angel Gonzalez, her nephew Edward Gonzalez and her brother William Cruz. She is also survived by step-children Thomas Kunde, Judy Stokes, Christopher Kunde, Mary Bowerman, Linda Kunde, Charles Kunde and Nana Hines and their beautiful families. At the time of her death, Raquel was widowed from Dr. Manuel Alvarez. She had previously been married to Thomas E. Kunde and Dr. Albert A. del Castillo, each of whom predeceased her. Raquel worked tirelessly to put her two sons through college and graduate school. She also knew how to live, and she lived her life fully. She threw marvelous parties and loved to travel, particularly on cruises. She visited every continent in the world except Antarctica, frequently traveling with her children, grandchildren and other family members. She was an incredibly generous person, giving freely to all of those around her. She was adored by her family, friends, patients and work colleagues alike. A viewing will be held on Wednesday, February 26, from 7 pm to 12 midnight at Vista Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home, 14200 N.W. 57th Ave, Miami Lakes 33014. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, February 27 at 11 am, at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church, 15801 N.W. 67th Ave, Miami Lakes. Burial service at Vista Memorial will follow immediately after the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Raquel's name to St. Catherine's West Rehabilitation Hospital, 8850 N.W. 122nd St., Hialeah Gardens, Fl 33018, where she was so well-cared for on various occasions during the last six years of her life.

Funeral Home

Vista Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home
14200 NW 57 Avenue Miami Lakes, FL 33014

Published in Miami Herald on Feb. 25, 2014