Antonia Esther Donate de Ramos, age 96, of Sanford, Florida passed away on Sunday, March 18, 2018. Antonia was born on May 10, 1921 in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico to parents Domingo Donate and Teresa de Jesus Torres.
Her father, Domingo Donate, married Teresa de Jesus Torres Garcia on October 16, 1911 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico when he was 24 years old. Together, they had 5 children, including Antonia and her siblings Carmen Ana Donate, Domingo Donate, Victor Donate, and Mario Donate.
Antonia attended elementary school at Vega Baja Escuela Jose Gualberto Padilla from kindergarten to 8th grade.
She was always a funny, silly, loving, intelligent, and playful girl. She admired her older sister, Ana, and often wore her dresses, jewelry, and shoes in an attempt to be like her.
She always said she had the best childhood a kid could have, and some of her best memories were at the beach. Her family had a beach house there that they visited together every summer.
When she grew older, she attended Fernando Callejo High School in Manati, Puerto Rico. She was very athletic and enjoyed her time playing on the female basketball team for her school. She also rode horses and climbed trees. Antonia also started learning how to sew, with the help of her aunts, and how to cook, with the guidance of her mother.
She met her future husband when she was 15 years old. Victor waited at the same place every day for Antonia to pass by, and he would say something sweet to her. As she was often dressed in yellow, he would say to her, ““Ese guineito maduro me lo quiero comer yo.” He told her every day how beautiful she looked, and she started looking forward to seeing him every day, too. She especially loved his blue eyes.
The two were officially introduced through Victor’s cousin, who was a friend of Antonia. From that day forward, they began to fall in love, and when she was 16 years old, they became boyfriend and girlfriend.
After she graduated from high school, Antonia married Victor Ramos Robles at age 18. A year later, their son Victor Manuel Ramos Donate was born. Tragically, he passed away in a car accident, in her arms, when he was four years old. This loss was something she never fully overcame.
For over a year following the accident and her son’s death, she traveled to San Juan for physical help. The doctor there recommended that she have another child as soon as possible.
Her sister saw an advertisement for a cosmetology school and encouraged Antonia to sign up for it because ever since she was little, she had liked cutting and styling her dolls’ hair—and also her brother Mario’s hair!
So with the support of her family behind her, she enrolled in cosmetology school. She was one of the top students of her class and won several awards across the island. Her teachers even said they wanted her to work at their salons in San Juan.
After graduation, she began her career by styling hair in a room in her mother-in-law’s house. Her number of clients steadily grew, eventually enabling her to open her own salon in Manati. It was the first salon on the island to use L’Oreal Paris hair products, and her business was thriving.
It was so successful that she ultimately opened her own school of cosmetology where she was the owner and operator.
After dedicating 40 years of her life to her business, she retired. The rest of her years were dedicated solely to her children, grandchildren, and husband.
In 2014, she moved to Sanford, Florida to live with her granddaughter, Maria, and they built beautiful memories together throughout those final years until her passing in 2018.
She will be remembered for so many things in her life, and among those will certainly be her delicious cooking, including dishes such as her beans, frituritas de calabazas, Vitec ensebollado, limbers, cereals, ponches, and lime juice that her grandchildren loved.
Antonia was well known by many people in Manati and the whole northern area of Puerto Rico for her skills at her trade as a beautician, for always being a hard worker, and for always being a caring, friendly person with a kind heart.
She is survived by her daughter, Carmen Ramos Donate; grandson, Pedro Jose Rivera Santana; granddaughter, Kathiuschka Rivera Santana; granddaughter, Maria Teresa Ramos Lorenzana; grandson, Pedro Luis Ramos Lorenzana; granddaughter, Maria Del Pilar Santos Ramos; grandson, Pedro Antonio Ramos Rodriguez; grandson, Pedro Omar Ramos Rodriguez; granddaughter, Maria Angelica Santos Ramos; granddaughter, Karla Cristina Santos Ramos; grandson, Angel Luis Santos Ramos; great-grandson, Pedro Jose Rivera Rodriguez; great-granddaughter, Tatiana Talia Torres; great-granddaughter, Stephanie Rivera Rodriguez; great-granddaughter, Lashmi Marie Torres Ramos; great-granddaughter, Karla Ortiz Rivera; great-grandson, Kemuel Ramos Villalobo; great-grandson, Abiel Ramos Villalobos; great-grandson, Jasiel Antonio Torres Ramos; great-granddaughter, Tiara Ramos Villalobos; great-grandson, Javier Alejandro Jose Rivera Cruz; great-grandson, Diego Oscar Crespo Santos; great-grandson, Criss Yandiel Ramos Velez; great-grandson, Dariel Antonio Jose Rivera Rivera; great-granddaughter, Fabiola Valentina Garcia Santos; great-granddaughter, Angelik Zoe Ramos Torres; great-granddaughter, Sophia Nicole Rivera Cruz; great-grandson, Gabriel Alejandro Santos Case; great-grandson, Enrique Ignacio Garcia Santos; great-granddaughter, Maria Estela Millan Santos; and great-granddaughter, Sara Isabel Garcia Santos.
She was preceded in death by her parents and also her sons, Pedro Jose “Popo” and Luis Manuel Ramos Donate.
Her beloved husband, Victor, passed away on February 10, 1993, at the age of 80. She always said that he was her first and only love.
To her family, she was the best wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother that any of them could have ever asked for.
Ultimately, she devoted her life to pleasing and serving others. She would help anyone in need, and she always did everything she could for her family, loving everyone unconditionally.
A memorial service will take place from 2:00 - 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals, & Receptions - South Seminole Chapel, 335 E SR 434, Longwood, FL 32750.
To share your memories of Antonia or leave a special condolence message for her family, please click the Share Memories button above.