It is with great sadness that Natalia Azevedo Oliveira left this world suddenly on December 28, 2020, at the age of 82.
Natalia was the definition of a selfless being. She was a devout Catholic, attending St. Mary’s Catholic church weekly and praying the rosary nightly. She would spend her days cooking delicious, nurturing food for family members, friends, neighbors and strangers in need. Hugs, kisses, and sweet words were plentiful for all who were lucky enough to spend time with Natalia. Natalia had a zest for life and loved traveling and bringing joy to everyone she came into contact with.
Natalia was the ninth of 12 children born to Amelia and Jose Homem on July 25, 1938, in Terceira, Acores. She always had fond memories of her childhood and recalled having everything despite having very little. In 1963 she emigrated from the Azores to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1966, sponsored by her beloved sister Gabriela and brother-in-law Robert Murphy, she immigrated to the United States, settling in Arcata.
Natalia married Frank Oliveira and was blessed with two children, Stephanie and Frankie. They were the loves of her life, she loved them unconditionally. Natalia was never stingy with her love. She adored children and they, in turn, loved her. She customarily would nurse and feed anyone in need. She was known by her Neighbors as “Florence Nightingale” and “Mother Angel” — you could not say her name without smiling or remembering her kindness. Each year during Easter you could count on her making delicious Portuguese Sweetbread which she would have delivered to the special people in her life. During the Portuguese celebrations, she would make small loaves and distribute them to all.
Her family was significant to her, and she was happiest when they were all together around her dinner table eating her delicious meals. Her home was inclusive and all were welcome. She loved to dance and always did as if no one was watching. She enjoyed traveling to the Azores, Brazil, Canada and anywhere on the open road where she was always up for an adventure. Age was always just a number, not a definition. Her vocation and calling in life was being a caregiver for the young, old, and anyone in need. The world lost an angel and heaven gained a wonderful mother, sister, aunt, and friend. She will be terribly missed by her children who loved her and cared for her tirelessly.
Natalia was preceded in death by her father and mother Jose and Amelia Homem. Her sisters, Maria Jose DeMatos, Maria dos Santos Rafael and, Fatima Borges, her brothers Manuel Homem and David Homem. She is survived by her children Stephanie and Frankie Oliveira. Her siblings; Gabriela Murphy, Jose Homem (Gloria), Fernando Lourenco (Jorlanda), Durvalina Machado, Antonio Lourenco, Avelino Homem (Ana). In-laws; John DeMatos, Maria de Lourdes Homem, and Ana Paula Homem. Her special friend and confidant Fernanda Ashford, and her cousin and best friend Mary Kay Leonardo.
A private mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with interment immediately following at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers are Larry Murphy, Jorge Lourenco, Richard Homem, David DeMatoes, Anthony Lourenco and Nick Machado.
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