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Sophie Gonzalez
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Obituary for Sophie Gonzalez

Sophie entered eternal life March 17, 2018 at the age of 90!
She was born on September 30, 1927 in a boxcar in Galesburg, Illinois to Manuel and Maria (Castro) Higareda, the 7th of 9 siblings.
Sophie graduated from Galesburg High School in 1946 and from Cottage Hospital School of Nursing in 1949. She maintained lifelong friendships with her fellow "class of 49" graduates.
Sophie was united in Holy Matrimony to Esequiel (Ese) Gonzalez December 27, 1954 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Galesburg, IL. They met at a friend's wedding earlier that year and found that they shared a love of dancing. Their marriage was blessed with 4 children.
Sophie was extremely proud of her nursing career which spanned 5 decades. She worked in Surgery, Labor/Delivery, Medical-Surgical, and Pediatric Hospital units, the Convalescent Home for Children, Dr. Fraser's office, the Mitchellville Women's Reformatory and as a substitute school nurse. After she retired from nursing, she worked as a home health aide and teacher's aide. (Miss Boesen's first grade class loved "Mrs. Gonzalez.") Sophie also served as a Spanish translator for several years for which she was recognized at a special ceremony by then Governor Terry Branstad. For her work with the Des Moines Mexican community, she was guest-of-honor at the League of United Latin American Citizens annual parade and proudly rode in a special float in a throne befitting the honor.
Sophie loved her family and she could be heard cheering at her children's and grandchildren's sporting events, graduations or other special hallmarks in their lives. She was a believer in our Saviour, proud of her Catholic faith and faithfully attended Mass. Sophie said the Rosary every day until her memory started to fail, but even then she could be heard praying The Hail Mary. She loved dancing, listening to music, the NY Yankees, the Iowa Hawkeyes and her numerous pets (cats and dogs-she didn't discriminate). She even had a pet turkey named Tom. She had very fond memories of the time when she, Ese and their children lived in Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico where Ese had been transferred by his employer, John Deere. It gave them an opportunity to travel throughout Mexico.
She will also be remembered for her delicious Mexican meals and desserts she made with love, her large vegetable gardens and her swimming pool parties. Sophie had a strong sense of social justice and she practiced that belief everyday of her life.
Sophie was preceded in death by her husband (May 30, 2007), her parents, her mother-in-law (Maria), her brothers and sisters, a nephew, and Michelle Parker who was very much a part of her family.
She is survived by her children, Rick (Wendy), Cathy (Brian) Karn, Christina and Tomas (all in Des Moines); grandchildren, Geoffrey (FL),Patrick (Marisha) (CA), Paul (CA), Stephanie (GA), Jessica (Matt) Nelson; great granddaughters Jordyn and Jade Nelson (Stuart); 2 sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews. Special thanks to her niece, Mary O'Brien, who would take her to Mass and visit her regularly.
Visitation will take place at the Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home Thursday, March 22
from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with rosary service at 6:30 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at St.
Theresa's Catholic Church on Friday, March 23 at 11:00 am. Interment will be at the Newton Union Cemetery in Newton, Iowa where she will be laid to rest beside her husband in the Veteran's section. Sophie and Ese are now dancing together again, in Heaven!
Memorial contributions may be directed to St Theresa's Catholic Church (1230 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA 50311), or Animal Lifeline (4521 SE 14th St. Des Moines, IA 50320).


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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

22

Mar

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home and Crematory

8201 Hickman Road
Urbandale, IA 50322

Rosary Service at 6:30 p.m.

Service

Friday

23

Mar

11:00 AM
St. Theresa Catholic Church

1230 Merle Hay Rd
Des Moines, Iowa 50311

Cemetery Details

Location

Newton Union Cemetery

1601 W 4th Street N
Newton, Iowa 50208

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