Julia Rosa-Oquendo, March 28, 1934 – January 14, 2019
Julia Rosa-Oquendo (Julie) was a beloved mother, wife, sister, and friend. Her devotion to the Lord and compassion for others was evident in everything that she did. She had a genuine love for everyone she met and it didn’t matter if “you weren’t a hugger,” because you were going to get at least one hug and a kiss from Julie. The family has continually grown in size because she kept ‘adopting’ honorary members. Julie had a way of making everyone feel special and welcome. She was always ready with a wise word of council and loved to share her testimony of faith. And if you needed to laugh, she was there for that too! Julie had a great sense of humor and she lived her life to the fullest. In her 85 years on earth she traveled, she loved, and she laughed but most importantly, she left a spiritual legacy that will live on in the hearts of her five surviving sons – Luis Rosa, Ralph Flores, Jose Flores, Richard Flores, Edwin Flores – and her numerous grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Julie was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico on March 28, 1934. She lived in Puerto Rico for most of her life and later moved to New York. Life’s circumstances left her as a single mother raising her boys in Queens, NY. It was her faith in Jesus Christ and daily communion in prayer that carried her through those hard times. Julie worked several jobs to provide for her family and attended school in the evenings to obtain a 4-year Theology Degree. Julie could share countless stories of God’s divine provision during that season.
Julie’s life is a testament to the power of prayer. At the age of 41, Julie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. By the time the cancer was discovered, it had metastasized and masses were found throughout her entire body—the doctors gave her 6 months to live. At a prayer service Julie received a prophetic word that God was not done with her yet and that if she would preach His Word, she would be healed. And it happened just as the Lord said.
As her battle with cancer continued and seemed to have overcome her, Julie flew back to Puerto Rico with the expectation of living out her final days there. She was completely blind and tumors were so numerous they were visible under her skin. But God was not done with her! On the plane ride to Puerto Rico, she miraculously received her sight and within three days, the tumorous masses had completely vanished. Upon examination, the doctors were astonished to find no trace of tumors or cancerous cells on her scans. She was healed! Julie answered the evangelistic call on her life and preached the gospel of Christ throughout Puerto Rico and Latin America including the indigenous tribes in Panama.
With a newfound lease on life, she continued to live out her purpose and her passion – education. At the age of 45 she returned to school and obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Special Ed. She was a bi-lingual primary and secondary school teacher for over 10 years. Julie particularly enjoyed teaching Spanish, and her lessons were not limited to the classroom! All of her grandchildren will remember her asking them, “Hablas Español/ Do you speak Spanish?” If the answer was not, “Sí Abuela/ Yes Grandma,” then you would promptly receive a lesson right then and there!
Julia Rosa-Oquendo’s life exemplifies 2 Timothy 4:7 –she fought a good fight, she finished her course, and she kept the faith. When she fell ill in 2014, she rejoiced in the prospect of going to heaven and meeting with her Lord. She sang about it and prayed about it continually. She was earnestly looking forward to it. She understood that death is not a loss but a gain, is far better than life on Earth, and to die is to be present with the Lord. She knew that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
On January 14, 2019, Julie relocated to her mansion in heaven where her parents Vicente Rosa Lopez and Leonor Oquendo Ramos welcomed her with open arms. Her beloved daughter-in-law Anita Vega was also there to receive her. Together they are basking in the presence of His glory, worshipping and praising our God in heaven.
We will forever miss our beloved Mama Julie. She was the matriarch of the Flores family. We treasure the memories and thank God for the gift that her life was to us. We recognize today that the blessings and favor that the Flores family walks in is directly attributed to her many prayers. Mama Julie, we love you.