The Heroines

Loreto A. de Tejeda

is honored with a Brick from the Tejeda family.

She was an example of goodness, charity, unselfishness, intelligence, courage, devotion and religion, who raised her children in a strict code of morals, rights, and duties, much as her own mother did. She was a great inspiration and comfort; she was our mother, Loreto Araujo de Tejeda.

Loreto was born in Mexico and came to the United States, not without hardships, a young woman with her husband and two small daughters. She died in Illinois, leaving seven grown daughters and a husband of 50 years who now lies beside her in a cemetery not far from Chicago.

Loreto had little or no education, but she was an intelligent woman. Her lack of schooling did not prevent her from learning to read and write. Her limited knowledge of English did not deter her from communicating with her friends and neighbors. She had an enviable ability to make friends easily.

She was most careful not to miss her Sunday mass, baptisms, first communions, confirmations, graduations, and other events which involved her children, and she was mindful of participating in and doing her part to the fullest in whatever church or community organizations to which she committed herself.

Loreto was an artisan; she drew, painted, sculptured, and did some carpentry, all in a simple, humble manner with supplies within her reach. Her ideas and models were her surroundings: plants, flowers, animals, people, and scenes which she left behind in her native Mexico, expressing them mostly on fabric, fabric from flour sacks and old clothes or whatever pieces of cloth that became available to her through kindly friends, and sharing everything with friends and family.

Her life was her husband and her children: loving, caring, feeding, and clothing them, comforting and healing them. She tried to teach them everything she knew: songs, stories, sewing, crocheting, gardening and sometimes cooking (which was not one of her favorite activities).

Loreto, with her husband and children, went through many difficult times, but she never forgot how to enjoy life, how to smile, how to sing, and, most of all, how to pray. She was beautiful inside and out; she weathered many storms, and she weathered them gracefully. With the help of her husband, Loreto encouraged proper education, helping and supporting their daughters through grade school, high school, and beyond. Yes! This was our mother, Loreto Araujo de Tejeda, a very heroine to us.

July 28, 1998