We lost our dearest mama and the matriarch of our family, Maria Graciela Guillermina Villalobos Cordova de Cuevas, 86 of Ocean Springs, MS peacefully on August 6, 2023 surrounded by family at Angel Oaks Personal Care Home.
She was born on February 10, 1937 in Antigua, Guatemala, Central America, to Leopoldo Villalobos Herrera and Maria Cristina Cordova de Villalobos. She came to the United States at the age of fifteen and attended St. Joseph Academy in Bay St. Louis, MS, graduating in 1955. Following graduation, she attended Gulf Park College for Women where she studied bookkeeping.
Graciela met the love of her life, Monroe, after attending a movie at the A&G Theatre in Bay St. Louis, MS. They were married in 1957 at Our Lady of The Gulf Catholic Church in Bay St. Louis, MS.
In the sixties and seventies, she perfected her drawing skills and became employed as a draftsman for Liddell White Builders. She designed many of the homes built in several subdivisions located in Ocean Springs. The family home she designed was custom built beginning in 1974. Graciela was extremely resilient as she and Monroe had to rebuild their family home that they personally built due to three devastating events.
She was not only beautiful but hard working, tenacious, and passionate with an attention to detail. Her full of life presence would light up a room. Graciela was very artistic and creative. There was nothing she could not achieve once she set her mind to it. She went as far as taking flying lessons and performed her first solo flight successfully.
In her spare time, she enjoyed collecting Hallmark ornaments, sewing, playing classical piano, music, dancing, drawing, and traveling with her family on vacations. She was a lover of nature and of all God’s creatures. Graciela had an avid affection for birds and cared for many dogs and cats in her lifetime. She was thoughtful, kind, loving, caring, and was so much fun to spend time with. She had an infectious smile and her laughter was the best. She instilled in her family to be grateful and forgiving. Graciela was a devoted traditional Roman Catholic, a true defender of the faith. She always put her family first in her life and was devoted to them until her passing.
Graciela was loved and adored by so many especially her immediate family. No words can ever express how much she will be missed. She will undoubtedly live on in the hearts and minds of her family and countless friends forever.
One of her close friends stated, “She was a pistol and so beautiful and strong.” They’ve also stated, “that she was hilarious with a dry wit. She had a sparkle in life with a little mischievous side which was adorable. She was indeed a powerful woman and a fellow artist.”
She was preceded in death by her spouse, Monroe Frank Cuevas, Jr.; parents, Leopoldo Villalobos and Maria Cristina Cordova de Villalobos; grandson, Victor Joseph Martinez; and son-in-law, Darren Wayne Grumme.
Graciela is survived by her children, Michele Marie (Arnaldo) Cuevas-Martinez of Spanish Fort, AL., Denise Anne (Angel Caillavet) Cuevas, and Monica Anne Cuevas- Grumme both of Ocean Springs, MS; sibling, Ana Maria Blattel of Camarillo, CA; grandchildren, Kirsten Marie Martinez, Joshua Francis Grumme, Joel Matthias Grumme, Jonah Sebastian Grumme, and Vincent Hansen Grumme; and great-granddaughter, Eva Grace Martin.
The family wishes to extend a special thank you to all the caregivers that were instrumental in caring for Graciela during her illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to the local Jackson County Animal Shelter or to plant a tree in her memory.
A mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, August 11, 2023 at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Ocean Springs. Friends may visit one hour prior with Rosary recitation beginning at 10:30am. Burial will follow at Crestlawn Memorial Park. A celebration of life will be held at Angel Oaks immediately following the burial.
Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Homes is honored to serve the family of Graciela Cuevas.
Friday, August 11, 2023
Crestlawn Memorial Park Cemetery