Our beloved mother, Ileana Martinez Vallecillo, passed away at Carteret Health Care Hospital on Monday, Jan 15, 2023 after battling an acute pulmonary illness exacerbated by lifelong asthma. She lived a long beautiful life filled with challenges and triumphs and was loved by many.
Born in Cuba on August 11, 1932, she was one of two sisters in a ranching family. She was married to her love, Dr. Reinaldo Vallecillo for 56 years. Her life was interrupted in 1962 when Castro and communism forced their exile to the United States. Not allowed to leave initially, her three older children were sent to the US to avoid indoctrination into communism and were not reunited until four years later. Grateful to have her family together again, she set out to continue her teaching career. Doing so necessitated attending one final year of high school where her oldest son was a senior causing him some uncomfortable moments which they later laughed about. She excelled, and received a standing ovation as she walked across the stage. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Appalachian State University and had a long career teaching in Fayetteville, NC while also raising her five successful children in their chosen careers. After her husband passed away she relocated to Beaufort.
Ileana was happiest when she was at the beach enjoying the sounds and smells of the ocean with her loyal 4 legged companion, Annie, by her side. Inheriting a passion for gardening from her mother, Ileana had a green thumb and could make any plant flourish. She was often found working in her garden taking advantage of every inch of soil. In May 2020 she proudly accepted the award of ‘Beaufort Garden of The Month.’
Above all else she was our mother, our Abuela, our best friend, and the gentle heart and light of our family. To know her, was to love her.
Preceded in death by her parents, sister and husband she is survived by her children Dr. Reinaldo Vallecillo (Carol), Dr. Jorge Vallecillo (Carmen), Aldo Vallecillo (Rob), Liana Vallecillo (Eric) and Dr. Alina V Peters (Craig) and her grandchildren: Will, Brett, Kyle, Brittany, Kris, Carson, Reinaldo, Ileana, Brandon, Danielle, thirteen great grandchildren and her little Annie.
Arrangements are pending and will be announced later.
Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at www.noefs.net
Arrangements by Noe Funeral Service, Inc. of Beaufort, NC.