Elba, or Mami Elba, as she was known to all, was born on August 3, 1936, in San German, Puerto Rico to Fidel Gonzalez Saez and Natividad Torres Martinez.
In 1954 she moved to Arlington, VA where she lived briefly before moving to Brooklyn, NY. It was there through mutual friends that she met the love of her life, Francisco (Panchito) Cuevas and were married in a blizzard on December 16, 1960. They then moved to Jersey City, NJ where they purchased their first home and raised their three children. In 1968 she was named Mother of the Year by the Puerto Rican Day Parade Association of Jersey City. From 1970 to 1996 Elba and Frank were foster parents to more than two dozen children, and in 1990 adopted two children, Joseph, and Christina.
In 1996 Elba retired as a Quality Control Inspector from Macy’s and with Frank and their two youngest children moved to Angeles, Puerto Rico, where they purchased their second home. Elba was very active in the community and church, raising hundreds of dollars to renovate the historic church, Nuestra Senora de los Angeles. In 2010, surrounded by more than 100 family and friends, Elba and Frank celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in their beautiful home overlooking the mountain tops of Angeles, PR.
Before Franks’ passing in 2012, Elba and Frank returned to NJ to be closer to their children. In 2021 Elba moved to sunny, peaceful, Port St. Lucie where she lived with her daughter and son-in-law. She enjoyed playing bingo every Friday night at the Disabled American Veteran Hall.
Elba was a past parishioner of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles, Angeles, PR. St. Michael’s Church, Newark, NJ, and St. Bernadette’s Church, Port St. Lucie, FL.
Elba is survived by her daughter Pamela and son-in-law, Juan; son Frank, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Carmen; sons, Edgar, Joseph, and daughter, Christina. Her three grandchildren, Edgabriel, Christina and Frank, and two great-grandchildren, Emmanuel and Hasleigh. Her sisters, Criselda Ruiz, Lillian Torres and Lydia Cotty, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Many will miss Mami Elba, and a day will not go by that we will not think of her, mention her name, or tell stories of her. In the Lord’s name we await the day when we will all be together again. May her soul rest in eternal peace.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations to be made to either the Susan G. Komen Foundation at https://secure.info-komen.org/site/Donation or the American Heart Association at https://www.heart.org/en/.