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Maria Zaayman


1960 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Maria Zaayman Obituary
Maria Victoria Zaayman
1960-2015
"On June 9, 2015, Maria Victoria Zaayman passed away after a courageous five year battle against Glioblastoma. She is survived by her husband Johan Heinrich Zaayman, son Johan Emilio, daughter Toni Louisa, mother Thusnelda Valdes, sister Cecilia Valdes and brothers Luis and Ignacio Valdes in addition to numerous nephews, nieces and cousins. She is preceded in death by her father, Dr Luis G Valdes.
Maria was born in Havana, Cuba in 1960 and will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, caring daughter, sibling and loyal friend. After moving to the US with her parents in 1961, her early life was spent in Miami, Florida; Dublin, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee, and Houston, Texas. She graduated from Mt Carmel High School and University of St Thomas Nursing School, Houston, Texas obtaining her BSN degree with honors and a state teaching certification.
As her family and friends can attest, Maria had a passion for helping others. She was a pediatric nurse at Texas Children's Hospital and later taught 3rd grade at St Augustine Catholic School and was a substitute teacher at St Anne's Catholic School, both in Houston, Texas.
Maria lived a varied and remarkable life experiencing many adventures. After marrying Johan in Houston in 1992, they settled in his home town of Pretoria, South Africa. In 1994 they moved to New Delhi, India for Johan's work as a South African diplomat representing the world's newest democracy at the time, in the world's most populous democracy. While in India, Maria embraced this new experience serving as President of the "African Ladies Diplomatic Number Two's". In 1998, they returned to Houston, along with their son Emilio (born 1994) and daughter Toni (born 1997).
The last five years have been a rewarding yet challenging time for Maria. Even during her treatment for the brain tumor, she always made time for her family and friends. She focused on living and bringing joy to those around her. She placed all her energies on preparing her two children to succeed in life. This was realized earlier this year when Toni graduated from Lamar High School in Houston and Emilio from a preparatory college program at Houston Community College.
A memorial service celebrating Maria's life will be held on June 11 between 6-8 pm at Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home, 6900 Lawndale Street, Houston, TX, 77023. A Funeral Mass will be held on June 12 at 1 pm at St Theresa's Catholic Church, 6622 Haskell St. Houston, 77007."
Published in Houston Chronicle on June 11, 2015
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