Laurinda M. Padilla, 83 of Colts Neck, stepped into eternity at her home Sept. 11 at 3:16 a.m. Born in Dover, Laurinda lived in Holmdel for 29 years before moving to Colts Neck where she has lived since 1989.
Having lived in New Jersey her entire life, the Garden State was truly home. Whether on the farm or what she called God’s little acre in Colts Neck, home always meant being surrounded by friends, family and neighbors. Good food and drink were always offered and Laurinda’s talent for cooking and her gift of hospitality were enjoyed by generations. “If you’re in this kitchen, you’re family” was more than a much-loved sign in her kitchen, it was a way of life and of sharing God’s unconditional love.
Called by many names, be it Aunt Lolita, Grandma, Mom, Tita or Lola, her true calling was a listening ear and a heart open to sharing wisdom and guidance. A lover of quotes and all things creative, Laurinda spent her last years compiling hand-written journals. Even her time of death corresponds to a famous verse from the Bible. The heart of Christmas for many, the gatherer, the guardian, the condenser and the mother to more than just her own, Laurinda was, and is, a phenomenal woman.
Laurinda was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Diego Padilla, who went home with the Lord Sept. 12, 2002. She is survived by her children, John Padilla, Woodstock, Georgia; Manuel and his wife Margaret Padilla, Crystal Falls, Michigan; Diego and his wife Michelle Padilla, Woodstock, Georgia; and Cathy Padilla, Colts Neck; her sister, Maria Teixeira, Toms River; her daughter-in-law, Margaret Barnett, Eatontown; 10 grandchildren, Stephanie, Christina, Laura, J.D., Brooke, Vincent, Chase, Amber, Brittany and Teresa; 16 great-grandchildren; and her beloved dog, Georgia.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Sept. 14 at Church of St. Catharine, Holmdel. Entombment followed at Holmdel Mausoleum. Laurinda’s family asked that no flowers be sent to the home or services. For messages of condolence, please visit Laurinda’s page of tributes at holmdelfuneralhome.com.
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