Cover photo for Elsie M. Aponte's Obituary
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1938 Elsie 2023

Elsie M. Aponte

April 1, 1938 — August 27, 2023

Inverness

Elsie M. Aponte, 85, of Inverness, FL, passed away on August 27, 2023, of natural causes, following complications from Covid and pneumonia.

Our dearest Elsie was born in New York, NY, on April 1, 1938, to the late Ramon and Alicia Camacho. Elsie (Elsita/Sis/Ma/Mamacita Linda/Titi/Grandma/Nana/ Chachi/Ms. Elsie) was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, partner, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend. Family was the most important part of her life! Growing up in the Bronx, she was raised to be bilingual; and she embraced, celebrated, and passed down her Puerto Rican heritage and culture to her family. She played violin and was part of the theatre group in high school. She wanted to go to college to study fashion, yet marriage and motherhood took precedence.

After being married for 8 years to William (Bill) Cadiz, Elsie became a single parent who raised her children while working for many years as a bookkeeper for an electrical contractor in Spring Valley, NY. She loved motherhood and her work and was exceptional at both! In 1978 she reunited with her high school sweetheart, Anthony (Tony) Aponte, and got remarried. Soon after, they moved to California to be closer to her parents. Elsie continued her bookkeeping career working for many years for Child Guidance Center in Santa Ana, a mental health center for children and their families. When she wasn’t working, she was helping family, friends, and many others to live happy and healthy lives. With much love and care, she always gave of herself freely to everyone she knew, and to everyone she met along the way. She was especially endeared to children and animals, always advocating for, and protecting them as much as she could.

In 1996, she moved to Inverness to retire. Shortly after moving Tony passed away and she went back to the theatre, becoming a stage manager and actor in several local plays. In December of 1997, Elsie met her ultimate love-life partner and very best dance partner, John. Together they loved to salsa dance and gather with family and friends whenever possible. As well as being a great salsa dancer, Elsie was an amazing cook, seamstress, and home improvement and crafting expert!  She was a member of the Spanish American Club of Citrus County (SAC).  She volunteered her time and her resources to SAC and many non-profit organizations in all the communities she lived.

Over the last several years of her life, mental illness and dementia took away all her abilities to care for herself and to recognize all the people who loved her so dearly. John was by her side every day, selflessly caring for her with a devotion and love, so extraordinary and so rare, it’s beyond measure and description!  Our family is so incredibly grateful to John for taking such great care of our mom/Elsie to the very end of her life!!

Elsie was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, her son-in-law Michael Kelleher and many other precious family members and dear friends.

Elsie is survived by her beloved and devoted partner of more than 25 years, John Cepeda; her dearest siblings - brother Hector Camacho and wife Hortencia, sister Elise Fairchild and husband Vance; her cherished children - son Bruce Cadiz and wife Susan, daughter Cynthia Kelleher and partner Brian; her adored grandchildren - Bryce and Corina Cadiz, Matthew Kelleher and wife Shiho, Alena Kelleher and partner Nate, and Kayla Lopez-Aponte; her dear nephews Hector Jr. and Daniel Camacho, Jason Turner and Austin Fairchild, and her sweet niece Michelle Baldwin. She is also survived by many lovely friends and extended family from coast to coast!

Though Elsie/Mom is no longer here to share her beautiful and radiant smile, marvelous creativity, unforgettable humor, and undeniable love and affection, our memories of her will always be a magnificent source of love, light and warmth in all our hearts!!!!

In honor of Elsie, and in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation “In memory of Elsie” to any of the following research/non-profit organizations:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/connect-with-nimh/donate-to-mental-health-research (National Institute of Mental Health – Gift Fund for mental health research)

https://www.onoursleeves.org/about (The Movement for Children’s Mental Health, so everyone can understand and promote mental health for children.)

https://www.dementiasociety.org/memorials (Enhancing the quality of life for those living with Dementia, their caregivers, and the community.)

https://www.cartercenter.org/health/mental_health/index.html (Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope)

A Memorial and Celebration of Life is forthcoming.  If you would like to be notified of the details once the planning is complete, please email your contact information to ElsieA068@gmail.com with the subject line titled “Elsie’s Life Party”.

Arrangements by Heinz Funeral Home, Inverness, FL. www.heinzfh.com.

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