Ileana “Lily” Gonzalez, age 69, passed away in her home comforted by her husband on Thanksgiving morning after a nearly seven-year courageous battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 PM, Friday, December 6, 2019, at Scott's Funeral Home of Copperas Cove with burial following at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. Visitation will be from 6-8 Thursday at the funeral home.
Lily was born Ileana De Jesus Juanes in Cruces Las Villas, Cuba, on June 16, 1950. She was the second child and the second daughter of Mariana and Santiago Juanes. They immigrated to the United States on December 5, 1958, during the ramp-up of the Cuban Revolution, with her sister Nancy Deems Juanes, and welcomed her first brother Raimundo Juanes, in 1963, and her second brother Santiago Juanes, in 1966, in Key West, Florida. Two years later, in 1968, they moved to Miami, Florida, where she graduated from Miami Jackson Senior High School, and fell in love and married her husband, Jose Anastacio Gonzalez, of nearly 50 years on June 12, 1970.
A year later, on July 13, 1971, Jose enlisted into the United States Army and thus began their 24-year career in the military. On May 21, 1971, Lily was promoted into motherhood when she and Jose welcomed their firstborn and only son Joe Christopher Gonzalez, into the world. She was Naturalized on July 4, 1973, and welcomed her middle born, Lily Gonzalez Eastham, in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 23, 1974, and her final born Venessa Dela Torre in Heidelberg, Germany on December 10, 1984.
Lily was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, who loved her family more than anything. She was also a loyal friend and co-worker to many throughout the years and an avid fisherwoman that enjoyed ceramics, shooting, and working with numbers. She became an accountant with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, where she received many awards, including Associate of the Month, before proudly retiring on her 20-year mark on April 24, 2014.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Mariana and Santiago Juanes, and survived by her husband Jose Anastacio Gonzalez, their three children and their spouses and children, her siblings Nancy Deems Juanes, Raimundo Juanes, and Santiago Juanes and their spouses and children, and her cousin Clara Moore.
Special thanks to everyone who touched Lily’s life. From caring neighbors who always made themselves available, like James and Lexie Farmer, Fletcher Smith, and Marie Cruz. To dedicated friends like Maria Cavales, Yolanda Ramirez, Barbara Mims, and Mary Bonner, who were her biggest cheerleaders. To compassionate health care professionals like JoAnn and Tanja from Visiting Angels who made a world of difference.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.
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