Isabel Aguilar

Obituary of Isabel E. Aguilar

Isabel Edilia Ramos Aguilar, 86, of Salem, IL passed away peacefully and entered into eternal rest on May 2, 2023 in St. Louis, MO. She was surrounded by her children and beloved husband, Armando, of 63 years. She is survived by her three children Alex (Lisa), Victor (Rachel) and Christina (Ben DeVerger), her brother Jose (Aida); her grandchildren Alexa (Jay Schwab), Olivia, Devon, Alexander, and Lorenzo; her great-grandchildren; Sarah, Gabriel and Audrey and a close circle of family and friends. She is preceded in death by her beloved son, Armando “Babe” Aguilar, her brother Juan, his wife Marta, and her grandson, Angelo. Isabel was born in Güines, Cuba on January 30, 1937 to Ateneo and Edilia Ramos. Isabel attended Candler College, then La Progresiva School of Higher Learning in Cárdenas. She met her future husband, Dr. Armando Aguilar, and the couple married on November 5, 1960. They started their married life in a “twin” house next door to her parents, with Armando’s medical practice nearby. The Cuban Revolution was brewing as their eldest child, Alejandro “Alex” was born, and many in their families fled the brutal restrictions. Isabel and Armando waited for clearance to make their exit to Spain in 1963 with just a few changes of clothes in their suitcase. They eventually reunited with family in the U.S., became United States citizens and began the arduous task of rebuilding their lives in Chicago, Kankakee, and finally Salem, IL, where they created a wonderful life. Alejandro was joined by Armando “Babe,” then Victor, then Christina. Isabel is remembered as an unfailingly devoted mother and beloved grandmother. Isabel was defined by her unwavering faith in God, her belief in the power of prayer, and the saving grace of Jesus. Her faith sustained her as she suffered the loss of her beloved son, Babe, when he was just 19 after a battle with cancer. Music was an influential part of Isabel’s life from childhood to adulthood. The piano was her passion and playing gave her and others joy. She and Armando also enjoyed traveling, especially to their second home in Naples, Fl., where they could enjoy the beach and their nearby Miami family. In 2015, she worked with author Barbara Carpenter to write her autobiography “Roses and Thorns,” in which she describes her life’s triumphs and tragedies. “Everyone has thorns in their lives, but they can always discover roses along their journeys, as I have. I must say that there have been many more roses than thorns.” Memorial services will be held on May 7, 2023 at Crouse Funeral Home in Salem, IL. Visitation hours are from 11am-1pm. The funeral will begin at 1:30 pm followed by her burial. In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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