Almeida– Maria Arlete born in Mosteiro,
Pedrogao Grande, (Portugal) passed away
Peacefully on July 20, 2008 , in Vancouver , B.C.
at the age of 50. Predeceased by father Joaquim,
She will be sadly missed by husband, Jack, daughters
Marta and Marisa, step-daughter Tania, mother Alice ,
brother Adelino (Sonia), sister-in-law Amalia (Antonio),
5 nieces, 5 nephews, other family and friends,
in Canada and Portugal . We would like to thank
the Nurses and Doctors at Jim Pattison Palative care
for all the comfort they gave to her and to the family.
Prayer’s will be said 7:30pm Wednesday
July 23, 2008 at Our Lady of Fatima Parish
1423 E. 13th Ave. Vancouver Follow by the Mass
of Christian Burial. Rev. Antonio Deangelis
celebrant. Interment in Portugal . In lieu of flowers
donations can be made in Mrs. Almeida memory
to the BC Cancer Society 565 – 10th Ave. Vancouver , B.C.
Eulogy provided by Marta Almeida
Good evening everyone. My name is Susan Soares Almeida and I am a close family friend of the Almeida family, as well as Marisa Almeida’s godmother. I am here to read the Eulogy, written by Marta Almeida on behalf of herself and her sister, Marisa.
Maria Arlete Dinis Henriques Almeida was born on January 3,rd 1958 in the small town of Mosteiro, Pedrogao Grande, Portugal. My mother was a very beautiful woman who came from a very small, but loving family. Ever since she was a little girl, her number one priority was always her family. She was always concerned about her own mother, father, and brother and would help them out in every way possible.
As a young girl in Portugal, my mother enjoyed being around agriculture and maintaining a beautiful garden. She would plant corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and would take extra care in picking olives from the trees surrounding her home, so that they could be processed and turned into olive oil. With her parents, she would get up bright and early in the morning to help water the crops. My mom also helped her parents raise cattle, pigs and chickens. They even had a horse named “Carisa,” which my mom adored. She would often tell us that “Carisa” was so well-trained that she knew the way home without anyone having to tell her where to go.
Until my mother was old enough to attend school, she spent her days with her own mother, while her late father went from door to door making a living by selling frames to mount photographs. While her dad was doing that, her mom owned a little bar (uma taberna) where people in her little town went to buy wine. Even though her parents were busy working, they never neglected to work on renovating their home. Her father had a lot of pride in their home, and my mom took on the same pride in her own home.
My mother began attending school at the age of five. The school that she attended consisted of students from grades 1-4 all taught at the same time, by one teacher. My mom always told us how strict that teacher was and how much homework she used to give, but how she had learned so much from that one teacher. When my mother finished her last year of school in Portugal, she had a strong will and desire to become a seamstress. Ever since she was a little girl, she always liked to crochet. She would make table cloths, bed spreads, naprons, etc. as a pass time. She also made clothing at home for her family and even for herself. She would buy the material and then design the clothing. And so, at the age of fifteen, my mother began working at a sewing factory in Portugal, called “Fétal.” That was where she spent countless hours of her days and where she made numerous friends, who still remain friends today. As a teenager, she would go to work every day and spend her evenings with her family or making clothing or crochet. She also enjoyed spending time with friends, singing and writing songs together. On weekends, my mother would attend church and sing in the church choir, something she really enjoyed. She also taught Cathecism, as she loved teaching young children about God and to follow in his footsteps.
As my mom grew, she spent her days not only in her home town, as well as in Leiria, a small city that my mom adored and considered her second home. There she met many people and made more friends. At the age of 23, my mother met my father, Jack Almeida, who at the time was already living in Canada. A year later, on September 11th, 1982 my mom and dad got married in Pedrogao Grande, Portugal and two months later on November 29th, my mother immigrated to Canada. Here she was forced to learn a new language, culture, and traditions that were very different from her own. She even took time to go to school to learn English, until she became pregnant with me, Marta. On January 30th, 1984, I, Marta Almeida was born. My mother always said that was one of the happiest days of her life, because she always dreamed of having a little girl. Both my mom and dad spent the next three and a half years enjoying my company, until they decided to have another baby, and my sister Marisa came along on July 9th, 1987; and another bundle of joy walked into my mom’s life.
Not only was she a good mom, but she was also a good wife, sister, aunt, daughter, everything that you could possibly imagine. She was a person of great faith and attended church religiously every Sunday. She put a great deal of effort into raising us, as she wanted her girls to experience things that she never got the opportunity to experience: we attended Portuguese school, attended Cathecism, we took swimming lessons, life saving courses, we learned how to play the organ, took theory courses, danced in the Rancho, played the accordion, and attended youth groups. My mom did so much for us. She took the time to work, run a household, raise her children, and do activities on the side that she thoroughly enjoyed. She made dresses for bridesmaids at one point in her life, made clothing for us, she would make homemade sausages annually, salt codfish from scratch, make proscuitto, make pasteis de bacalhau, come up with any and every possible dish and dessert you could possibly think of, and most importantly, host numerous parties. Every year my mother could not wait to spend three long weekends camping at either Cultus Lake or Porteau Cove and of course, all of her friends were invited. The years that we did not go camping, we went to Portugal to spend a good 8-10 weeks with our family and friends. While in Portugal, my mother always made an effort to tour the country with us, while also taking the time to visit and spend time with friends that she had not seen in years. She loved attending Portuguese festas and hosting hometown parties in Vancouver, like the “Festa de Pedrogao Grande.” You see, my mother was a true leader who not only enjoyed life, but was full of life and endless dreams.
Two years ago my mother received some very tragic news that have made the last two years so very challenging for our family. In that time, my mother has suffered a great deal and in some ways, I was content when she passed away because she was no longer suffering. Yet now we are suffering because we miss her so very much and our lives seem so empty and quiet. My mother is leaving behind a husband of nearly 26 years, Jack Almeida, 2 daughters, Marta & Marisa Almeida, a mother, Alice Dinis, a brother, Adelino Henriques, and sister in laws Amalia Alves and Sonia Henriques, a brother in law, Antonio Alves, nephews, Adelino, Jack, Michael and Kevin Alves, nieces, Olga, Joanne, Jenna and Trista Alves, and step daughter Tania Almeida.
Mom, you’ll be greatly missed by all of us. There are no words to express what you have done for all your friends and family. We have all learned so much from you and we love you dearly. This journey that we will embark on without you will be very hard, but you will never be forgotten. There are no words to explain our sadness. You are a very special person and you will always be in our hearts. Rest in peace mom, as you are now in a better place.
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