Maria Victoria Barriga obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Maria Victoria Barriga

July 12, 1925 - June 12, 2017

Obituary


Maria Victoria Barriga was born July 12, 1925 in San Jose, Costa Rica to parents Marco Emilio Fonseca and Maria Julia Jimenez de Fonseca.
She married Armand Barriga on June 7, 1947. She is survived by her five children; Bob (Ronnie) Barriga, Pat (Kevin) Whiteley,
Vickie (Alice Jordan) Barriga, Michael Barriga, Kathy (Trudy Sauter) Barriga. She is also survived by three brothers and numerous grandchildren.








My life on the move
By Vickie Barriga

A presentation given to St. Joan of Arc Senior Club circa...

Maria Victoria Barriga was born July 12, 1925 in San Jose, Costa Rica to parents Marco Emilio Fonseca and Maria Julia Jimenez de Fonseca.
She married Armand Barriga on June 7, 1947. She is survived by her five children; Bob (Ronnie) Barriga, Pat (Kevin) Whiteley,
Vickie (Alice Jordan) Barriga, Michael Barriga, Kathy (Trudy Sauter) Barriga. She is also survived by three brothers and numerous grandchildren.








My life on the move
By Vickie Barriga

A presentation given to St. Joan of Arc Senior Club circa 2004

I was born on July 12, 1925 in the city of San José, Costa Rica, which is a country in Central America. My
parents named me Maria Victoria, and I was the second of seven children. My life has taken me to cities and towns in Central, South and North America and has been enriched by these experiences. Children have played a central role in my life and throughout it I have known the love of family and friends.

My parents moved to Costa Rica from Colómbia, South America, shortly before I was born. Costa Rica is a place that is very dear to my heart - it is where I grew up. It's where I was baptized, where I went to school, and where I had my first communion. When I think of Costa Rica I remember a beautiful place and I have fond memories of my childhood there.

Costa Rica is the place that I considered home, but my mother always wanted to return to her home - which was Colómbia. The opportunity to move presented itself when my older brother graduated from high school. I moved to Colómbia when I was about 18 years old.

When we got to Colómbia I met a large number of relatives on both sides of the family - people I had only known from pictures. Pretty soon, I started meeting people from the school, our church and our neighborhood. Of all the people I met, my favorites were the Barriga family. I felt very much at home with the Barrigas and very comfortable with them and I felt that they felt the same way about me. I didn't meet Armand right away because he was in the U.S. Army and stationed in Panama, but I was very close to his sisters and brothers and his parents. Perla Barriga, one of Armand's sisters, used to tell me that I would really like her brother Armand and that he would really like me. Armand's family used to write to him and send him pictures from home. One time they sent him a picture from a picnic that I had attended with the Barrigas and other friends. When he wrote back to his family he had circled my picture and told them that he would like to meet this young lady.

Armand was stationed in Panama and had the chance to come to Bogotá on a 24 hour leave. His family saw this as an opportunity for us to meet each
other. Even though it had been 5 years since he had seen his family, and even
though he was able to stay only for a short time, he still wanted to make time to meet me.

It turned out that Perla was right and we really liked each other. After a short period of dating I felt that this was the man I would like to spend my life with. I could tell that he was a gentleman, I thought he was good looking, and I knew that he came from a good family. When he asked me to marry him I was ready to say 'yes'. We were married on June 7, 1947 and then my life of moving
really began.

First, we moved to Panamá where I had my first child, Robert Henry, who was also the first grandchild on my side of the family. This was a very difficult move because I had never been so far away from my family and because I was surrounded by people that didn't speak the same language as I did. Over the next 20 years we moved to Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Texas, Spain, back to Texas, and finally to Colorado. I had two daughters while I was in New York, and a son and daughter while in Illinois.

On December 8, 1948 I arrived for the first time in the United States - in Mobile Alabama. I had never been so scared in my whole life. They told us there were no hotels available because of a big convention so the women and children were going to have to stay in one barracks and the men in another. When Armand explained to me what they were saying I started crying. I told him I wasn't going anywhere without him. My little boy had been sick on the plane and I was terrified that he would get worse and I wouldn't be able to communicate with anyone. I told Armand that I would prefer to stay all night at the airport with him than go off to the barracks without him. Somebody must have felt sorry for me because they found us a hotel room.

A few days later we took the train to Massachusetts. I remember being so depressed because all of the trees were dead. At home the trees stay green all year round and so the bare trees were very depressing to me. However, I was delighted the first time I saw snow and I played in it with my son just like a little kid.

Moving was always difficult, but it got easier as I got to know more about the American people. A lot of people were very kind to me and tried really hard to understand me even when my English was very poor. The move that I probably enjoyed the most was when Armand was transferred to Madrid, Spain. It was an easier move because all of my kids were out of diapers and walking and because I was excited to go to the place where
my ancestors came from.

After we came back from Spain we returned to Texas. My oldest son had already left home to attend the University of Houston, but even though my own 5 children were getting older my involvement with small children didn't decrease. Armand and I had always been involved with the schools that our children attended. I also helped with boy scouts and girl scouts and worked with the teen clubs when my kids were in high school. In Texas I started working at a day care center and when we moved to Arvada I started my own day care home. I helped care for 4 of my grandsons on a regular basis when they were growing up and currently I take care of 3 great-grand daughters a couple of days a week. I also have a job interpreting for Spanish speaking
families that have disabled children. They have to bring the children in for therapy and I help the families and therapists communicate.

My life has involved many challenges and many rewards. I moved a lot and moving is never easy. But because I moved I got to see new places and
learn new things. It was a very difficult transition to come to the United States, but now this is my home - I have been in Arvada longer than anywhere else that
I have ever lived - this is where most of my children, grand children and great grandchildren are, and this is the place where my husband and I spent our last
years together.