Mirtala Taracena Villatoro de Schwab, 93, passed away peacefully in her sleep looking beautiful as ever on Friday, January 22, 2021, at Elk Run Assisted Living in Evergreen. Mirtala was born October 6, 1927, in La Libertad, Guatemala, and later moved with her family to Guatemala City. There she acquired her teaching certificate, taught elementary education at los Colegios Europeo and San Sebastian, graduated with a bachelor's degree in Literature from la Universidad de San Carlos, and taught business Spanish at the American Embassy.
She moved to Farmingdale, New York, in 1952, married Kenneth Schwab in 1953, and had three children, Pamela, Kenneth and Robert. Her husband preceded her in death in 1973, leaving Mirtala to raise her children. She was resourceful in working at a variety of jobs to support her family, including babysitting, tutoring Spanish, sewing, substitute teaching, and selling crafts. She found time to return to school and received her master's degree in Spanish Literature from C.W. Post College of Long Island University, in 1977. She continued living in New York, spending a few years in Alexandria, Virginia, until moving to Colorado in 1997 to be near her children. She lived in Golden for 20 years and has lived in Evergreen since 2018.
Mirtala was a born again Christian, attended Bergen Park Church, loved the loud music at Red Rocks Church, and was known as a prayer warrior. She boldly prayed for people wherever she went, whether a salesperson in a clothing store, a woman offering tastes at Costco, or a waiter in a fine restaurant, ending each prayer with, "Amen! Amen! and Amen!" She loved languages, looking fashionable, going out for coffee, and enjoying adventures of all kinds with her daughter. She had a wry sense of humor. Some of her most memorable sayings were, "I expect a complete meal and that includes dessert!" "Money is meant to be spent!" and "We have a good God."
She is survived by her daughter Pamela Montgomery (Robert), of Evergreen, son Kenneth Schwab of Denver, and son Robert Schwab (Kristie) of Erie. She is also survived by three sisters, Aura Taracena, Gladys Vasquez (Rolando) and Sandra Santizo of Guatemala; sister-in-law Marilyn Poepplein of New York; and numerous nieces and nephews, both across the U.S. and in Guatemala. The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to Elk Run Assisted Living and Mt. Evans Home Care and Hospice, especially hospice nurse Julie Nelson, who provided exceptionally loving care to Mirtala during her final weeks of life. Mirtala has been interred with her husband at Pinelawn National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York. Remembrances in her name may be sent to either Elk Run Assisted Living (elkrunassistedliving.com
), or Mt. Evans Home Care and Hospice (mtevans.org
). A celebration of her life will take place at a later time.