Felicita “Mama Fela” Piña of Guayaquil, Ecuador passed away peacefully in her daughter’s home in California on Saturday, May 20th surrounded by her family. She was 77 years old. Prior to moving back home, she lived in Wappingers Falls, NY, Astoria, NY and Brooklyn, NY. She also had a 2nd home in Guayaquil and loved traveling between her two countries.
Fela was born January 2, 1946, in General Vernaza, Ecuador to Modesto Miño and Susana Coello. She left her small town as a teenager and moved to the big city Guayaquil, where she met her first and last love, Enrique Piña. They were married on March 1, 1966 and shared their life together for 60 years. In the mid-70s, Fela and Enrique immigrated to the U.S. for better work and economic opportunities with their three children born in Ecuador, the youngest was born in the U.S. Fela lived the American dream and aided her brothers and families in living theirs. She graduated from the Wilfred Academy of Hair & Beauty trade school in the 80s, making her son her first client and daughters her customers. Most of her career, she worked as a Sample Maker for Jessica McClintock Bridal and other designers in the Garment District. She loved fashion, was graceful and elegant; and carried herself as such whether she was going to work, an event or while at home.
Although Fela was a professional seamstress, she also did it for fun; she made dresses for her daughters' special events, proms, and graduations. She also made baby tops and dresses for her grandchildren. Fela loved cooking Ecuadorian dishes; she was famous for her lasagna, shrimp ceviche and flan. Her grandchildren, and their parents, loved it when she made yapingacho, which she taught her granddaughters how to make. Fela was the “hostess with the mostess”, always getting the family together for delicious food and lots of fun. She also enjoyed baking and planting, she adored her plants and loved Orchids. Fela loved music, her favorite artists were Los Hermanos Rosario and Marco Antonio Muñiz.
Fela loved and had a special bond with her nieces and nephews. She loved spending time and talking to her family and friends; she loved talking on the phone with her daughters, nieces and friends; who always boasted about her wisdom and the good advice she gave. She was a magnificent mother and soldier of life; always teaching, praising, and putting the needs of others first. She was a strong, discerning woman, passionate about life and loving to everyone. She was extremely proud of her husband, children, grandchildren, and family. She was a devout Catholic and of the Holy Spirit. Her way of loving was a statement of God's love, it was unconditional. She always gave offerings to the church for food and Christmas toys for the kids. All whose life was touched by Fela, was impacted by her love and goodness; they will carry her legacy in their hearts.
In addition to her husband, Enrique, Fela is survived by her children, Maribel McVicker and her husband, Christopher of Camarillo, CA, her daughter, Melba Piña-Gonzalez and her husband, Camilo of Wappingers Falls, NY, her son, Ronald Piña and his wife Yuliana of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and her daughter, Ingrid Piña of Fishkill, NY; her grandchildren, Alexis McVicker, Christopher McVicker, Jr., Brandon McVicker, Sofia Gonzalez, Sara Gonzalez, Joaquin Piña, Jared Piña, Samara Piña, and Addison Piña; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, from 1-3 pm and 6-8 pm at the McHoul Funeral Home of Fishkill, Inc., 1089 Main Street, Fishkill, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at 10 am at St. Mary, Mother of the Church, 106 Jackson Street, Fishkill, NY followed by interment at Fishkill Rural Cemetery.
Please visit Felicita’s Book of Memories at www.mchoulfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or to watch the livestream of her Funeral Mass.