MAYORGA de BRIONES, Hermelinda Urbina - Peacefully at home in Toronto, on September 20, 2008, in her 103rd year. Hermelinda had a long and wonderful life full of love and many adventures. Born in Ambato, Ecuador, South America on September 26, 1905, to Jose Belisario Urbina and Felicidad Mayorga. She married Rosendo Briones in 1926 and was his loving wife until his passing in 1989. They lived in New York City for many years where she learned to fly and became the first woman pilot from South America. She was one of the original members of the Ninety Niners, a large Women's Flying Organization in the USA, where she became friends of Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh. Hermelinda returned to Ecuador in 1945 where she kept very busy administering the family business and enjoying the company of her family. She continued to travel enthusiastically the world over. In 1999 she joined her daughter, Rosario, in Toronto, where she enjoyed new adventures of boating and snowmobiling. In the year 2000 she was recognized by the Ecuadorian Press as one of the 10 most influential women of the millenium. She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Rosario Briones-Urbina of Toronto, ON; her adopted son Augustin Morocho of Quito, EC; her nieces Gloria Urbina of Quito, EC; Beatriz Hurst (Urbina) of Sydney, Australia; her nephew Gustavo Urbina of Quito, EC; and her god-granddaughter Nicole Lessard of Toronto, ON. She is also survived by many half sisters and brothers, many grand and great-grand-nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her husband, and her brother Dr. Jose M. Urbina. Funeral Services for Hermelinda Urbina Mayorga de Briones will be held in Quito, Ecuador where she will be laid to rest in the family mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made In Memoriam to UNICEF.
Published in Toronto Star from Sep. 23 to Sep. 24, 2008.