Carmen Esperanza Martinez-Smith (“Carmelita”, “Epi” , “Mamacita”) passed away peacefully and surrounded by love on Monday, August 12, 2019 at the age of 86. She was the proud mother of Vivian del Carmen Toro Martinez de Bell (married to William R. Bell) and Ademar Toro Jr. (married to Robyn Davidson). Beloved grandmother of Monica Bell and Rebecca Toro. Carmen was born on October 30,1932 in Manhattan, New York. Her parents were originally from Puerto Rico. She moved to Puerto Rico and graduated from Central High School in San Juan, where she later worked for its government, got married and raised her children. She later attended the University of Puerto Rico to study Political Science while working full time. Her professional career included working as an executive administrative assistant, office manager, bilingual and legal secretary, and as a personnel recruiter in a variety of settings including working in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, Hon. Baltasar Corrada. She also worked as an Assistant Director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Carmen was a lifetime learner and liked to stay connected with the community. She took Dale Carnegie and Toastmasters courses, and trained with Virginia’s Arlington Citizen’s Policy Academy in emergency response preparedness.
Carmen loved her eclectic library which ranged in topics from the ancient arts and religions, literature, and legal books, in Spanish, English and French. She enjoyed traveling.
Since early childhood, Carmen channeled her high energy by dancing and playing the castanets. With her bubbly social personality, she liked to create impromptu social gatherings and share some of her good cooking. She enjoyed a good “find” at the local thrift shops, and enjoyed Oriental decor. She liked to dress “well put together” with a little flair.
Carmen was grateful for her family, her extended family and the community that supported her throughout her life. She had a generous, giving heart that extended to her love and rescue of animals. Her strong, feisty personality, was, thankfully, accompanied by a good sense of humor.
Carmen was an advocate for education, and the importance of a spiritual life. She was always looking for “peace of mind”. In her later years, she found it at the Sacred Heart Home in Hyattsville, Maryland where she was cared with love and dignity. For this, Carmen and her family will always be grateful.
Gracias, Mami, te queremos mucho. Siempre. Descansa en Paz. Rest in Peace.