Carmen M. Lea was the oldest of 3 children born to Angel and Margarita Rivera, in Utuado Puerto Rico. Angel and Margarita moved to Old Brooklyn Ohio as green house workers bringing their family to the United States.
Carmen attended school at St. Rocco’s. Carmen worked as a seamstress at Lion Knitting Mill. She later worked at Preston Trucking where she met her late husband William J. Lea. They raised their 4 children together Cindy, John, Alan and Richard. Along the way, their family fell in love with David Cibella and quickly adopted him as one of their own.
Carmen and Bill enjoyed camping. You can rest assured if you needed them on a weekend, you could find them at the campground. We will all remember Carmen in our own way. Her famous Christmas village, was a tradition for her and her grandchildren to put together each Christmas. Every year when all the houses and people were in place, and the snow was perfect, each grandchild picked a house that year. The village, as well as her family grew each year. It was close to impossible to go to a store, see a village house that made you think of Carmen and not buy it for her.
You may remember Carmen’s famous taco night, where hundreds of tacos were made, or a home cooked Puerto Rican Dinner, or family Pig Roast. You may have even seen Carmen and Bill on the news for their Christmas lights or Carmen’s award-winning flower gardens during the summer. She loved going to craft shows and crafting.
As her family grew Carmen became second mother to her son-in-law Mike, daughters-in-law Michelle, Anna, Rachel and Stacey. Carmen was a grandmother to Victoria, Angel, Anthony, Isabella, Sophia, Callie, Ava, and Cameryn, and great Grandmother to Lilyana and Allyson.
If you knew Carmen, you know she loved being a grandmother the most. Maybe the fact it meant more trips to the store to spoil them, we all know she loved shopping and spoiling her grandkids.
We are heavy hearted as a family with this great loss, but we have many memories that will live on with us. In summer, as you drive by a flower garden, imagine Carmen out in her beds pruning her flowers, watering, or admiring her garden. While looking back on the many pig roasts or cookouts we spent as a family, remember how much she loved her family. When fall comes, remember how much Carmen loved going to Hartville to pick out pumpkins to decorate her home. As winter approaches, while you are thinking of bringing out your Christmas tree, think of how many hours Carmen spent perfecting her trees. Carmen lives on in all of us and will never be forgotten.
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