Our beloved mother, sister, daughter, aunt and friend - the calm and joyful peacemaker in our large family - passed away Dec. 12 from complications of leukemia. She was 50.
Born in Colombia, Olivia moved with her parents and three brothers and four sisters to Rhode Island when she was a young adult. Shortly after having her daughter, Tatihanna, in 1986, Olivia moved to South Florida. In 1991, she joined The Palm Beach Post, working her way up to supervisor of the company's post office. In her 18 years at The Post, Olivia came to think of the newspaper as her second family, enlarging the world for her and Tatihanna. Watching the writers and editors inspired Tatihanna's passion for writing, and she also worked at The Post, like her mom, before she went to college in Miami.
Olivia loved learning of all kinds, especially literature and the arts. She and Tatihanna went to Mass every Sunday and loved their movie nights, "our quality time." Her happiest moments were with her family, and she believed her purpose in life was to keep her family strong and connected. In March 2010, Olivia's sister, Gladys, gave her a precious gift - her bone marrow for a transplant. Olivia and Gladys were a "twin match." The transplant gave Olivia several precious more months with her daughter.
She is survived by daughter, Tatihanna, of Palm Springs; her parents, Maria and Maximiliano Betancur, of Rhode Island; her siblings Samuel (wife Marta), Gladys, Doris, Maria E. , Rogelio, Daryl and Diana. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and friends, especially her best friend Dulce Soto. In Olivia's last weeks, her daughter Tati and her niece Natalie were by her side daily, and siblings Gladys, Doris, Daryl and Diana helped in her care.
Of Olivia's many roles, her favorite and most important was that of mother. She worked hard and selflessly, charmed all she knew with her warm heart and happy smile and always saw the best in people. She put Tatihanna first in her heart and with her time, supporting her at dance recitals and school awards ceremonies. One of her proudest moments was Tatihanna's graduation from Florida International University in Miami.
For Tatihanna, "She was my hero, my role model and my best friend."
Olivia's memorial is Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mizell-Faville-Zern Funeral Home, 6411 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach. A Mass to celebrate her life is Saturday, 9 a.m., at St. Luke Catholic Church, 2930 S. Congress Ave., Palm Springs.
Arrangements under the direction of Mizell-Faville-Zern Funeral Home & Cremation Service, West Palm Beach, FL.