ASHTABULA — Emilia Maria “Cuca” Aponte, age 70, formerly of Benefit Ave., went home to dance on the streets of gold on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.
She was born Oct. 8, 1942, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the daughter of Armando and Otilia (Gonzalez) Seda and had been an Ashtabula resident since she was 8 years old.
Prior to her retirement in 1999, she worked 38 years as a nurse’s aide and orderly for Ashtabula County Medical Center. She was proud to have completed her education and earned her diploma from Ashtabula High School in 1980.
She attended the Harvest International Church and was very involved with the Ashtabula Dream Center. Known for doing anything she could for her church and church family, Emilia was strong of faith and loved the traditional hymns of the church, especially “How Great Thou Art.” She was active in her community and always strived to make a difference, serving on the Mary Chatman Center Board, the Community Counseling Board, and with the Ashtabula High School and Lakeside High School Band Boosters.
In her younger years, she was an avid softball player and coach, having worked with many high school students and women’s softball leagues in the area. Also, in her spirit of always wishing to help others, she often served as a wedding planner to assist those unable to afford an elaborate event.
Emilia sang with the Good Life Singers and was involved with theatre for many years at both the Ashtabula Arts Center Straw Hat Theater and with the Chris D’Itri production, Tony and Tina’s Wedding.
But above all things, she was devoted to her grandchildren and she had made them the most important people in her life.
Her survivors include three children, Maria (Bill) Abbott and Carlos (Kim) Aponte, both of Ashtabula and Jason Aponte of Kingsville; six grandchildren, Brian (Dawn) Abbott, Myalee (Kevin) Sergeff, Arrieanna Aponte, Jayson Aponte, Ayden Aponte and Carly Aponte; three great-grandchildren, Brian Jr., Archie and Emmalynn, and one on the way; two sisters, Sonia Herzog and Judy Castro, both of Ashtabula; two brothers, Ralph Santiago of Michigan and Armand Seda of Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews.