Carmen Maria Cardona de Zayas, 93, of Newport News, Virginia, moved on to her new home in heaven on August 12, 2022. Carmen was born on January 29, 1929, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, to parents Cruz Marrero Lopez and Juan Lopez Cardona Acevedo of Caguas, Puerto Rico.
As much as she was grateful to God for her long life, loving family and friends, she’ll truly miss the bingo games, music and dancing at the Charter Senior Living of Newport News, VA. Hopefully, there’s an appointed activities director angel in heaven…then step back and watch her go!!
Carmen was preceded in death by her spouse of 65 years (Yes, to the same man!!), Jose Abraham Zayas, Sr. They literally “grew up” together according to life experiences and Army regulations. Born in Coamo, Puerto Rico, Jose was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII, the Korean Conflict (65th Infantry) and the Vietnam Era. He passed in June 2010.
Carmen is survived by their three “Army Brats”… daughter Maria Bernick of Newport News, VA; son Jose A. Zayas “Joe” of Rockledge, FL; and daughter Damaris Lorish (Alan) of Sterling, VA. Carmen (Grand-mami) will be truly missed by her beloved grandchildren Chris Bernick (Leslie); Kimberly White (Nekita); Ben Zayas; Marissa Mulholland (Kerry); Alana Fanning (Jack); and great-grandchildren River and Jackson Bernick, and Keira and Violet Mulholland.
Like many military spouses, Carmen took on the tough job of supporting her Army spouse with an amazing sense of adventure and patriotic pride. While Jose was stationed in Panama, Carmen volunteered with the American Red Cross preparing and canning Puerto Rican-style food bound for Korea. At Fort Eustis, VA, she worked part time at the Child Care Center. While retired in Florida, she volunteered with the Titusville, FL, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 109, where she received recognition for her efforts during Stand-Down Day and for collecting with friends and neighbors food items to stock the DAV pantry for homeless vets.
Also in Titusville, FL, she was a member of the Titusville Latin Club and the St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church. Carmen attended St. Jerome Catholic Church in Newport News, VA. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to any of the above-mentioned organizations. Carmen’s ashes will be interred next to her beloved Jose at the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Titusville, FL, in coordination with Altmeyer Funeral Home and Crematory, Newport News, VA.
With hearts filled with love and admiration, Carmen’s family wishes to thank the entire management and caring staff of the Charter Senior Living of Newport News, Riverside Regional Medical Center, and Amedisys Hospice Care of Williamsburg. As a professional team, they cared for Carmen and provided support to her family. Again, thank you all!!
To our beautiful mom … Mami, sigue bailando!