Laudelina Lourenco ViegasDecember 21, 1928 ~ January 9, 2018 (age 89)
If the true measure of a person’s success is based upon the lives he or she touches, then Laudelina (Lina) Viegas was successful beyond measure. She was an extraordinary daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother. She was always selfless, patient, loving and generous beyond reason. She will be remembered with love and gratitude by her daughter Pam, son-in-law Jim, and grandchildren Logan, Lexy, and Maddy.
Lina had an austere childhood growing up during the Great Depression and under a dictatorship in rural Portugal. She lived through poverty and deprivation, but her dreams for a bright future were strong. In 1962 she was granted a visa to work as a cook and nanny for Brazilian diplomats stationed in New York. It took enormous courage to leave Portugal, leaving everyone and everything she knew behind, and come to the United States where she knew no one and could not even understand a single word of English. Anyone who has immigrated to this country can truly appreciate how difficult that journey is, but to be the first with no one already here to ease the way or give some comfort of word or direction is overwhelming.
Lina was determined to better her life, but she did not forget her seven brothers and sisters back in Europe. Soon after she married Antonio (Tony), they sponsored the immigration of her siblings. Tony and Lina gave them work, a place to live, helped them furnish their homes, enroll their children in school, and helped everyone acclimate to life in the States in every way that they could. Lina cared for her nieces and nephews so that their mothers could also work. Through the entire family’s hard work and sacrifice, everyone today is successful. Lina's siblings, nieces, and nephews gave their children opportunities and lifestyles that may not have been possible if not for that first opportunity which Lina and Tony originally gave to them. Therefore, like a stone cast in a lake creates far reaching ripples, so too will Lina’s legacy continue to flow through the generations of her family who now have the tremendous privilege to live in the greatest country on earth.