Madison - After a long and brave battle with lung disease, María del Rosario Covarrubias passed away peacefully at home in her sleep early Tuesday, June 26, 2018.
María was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on September 26, 1959, the daughter of Maria de Jesus Herrera and Francisco Pelayo. In an effort to escape the harsh circumstances of her childhood, she came to this country with her young family, enduring hardships and fighting obstacles as she followed her dreams to a better life. Knowing that education was the key to moving forward, she began her own academic path as she supported her children in theirs. María obtained her high school diploma, and went on to get her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She taught in the Madison Metropolitan School District for 30 years, receiving the "Distinguished Service Award". She loved being in the classroom, both as a student and teacher, and her passion for learning was contagious.
María recently celebrated 40 years of marriage with her husband, Ismael. She is survived by her husband, Ismael Covarrubias; and her five children, Cinthya (Adolfo) Díaz (sons, Anthony and Nicolas), Jorge (Angela) Covarrubias (daughters, Amelia and Alma), Daniel (Laura) Covarrubias (daughter, Sophia), Hector (Krista) Covarrubias (sons, Isaiah and Fabian) and Julie (Steven) Rice (sons, Peyton and Steven); her sister, Esther Herrera; and many others.
María was also a beloved sister, sister-in-law, aunt and great-aunt who leaves behind an extended family in the U.S. and Mexico and a wide collection of friends and colleagues.
A visitation is scheduled for Friday, June 29 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m. with visitation beforehand beginning at 9:00 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison, with Father Bart Timmerman presiding.
Those wishing to support María's belief in the power of education can donate to the scholarship established in her name in collaboration with the Friends of Sánchez Scholars (www.madisongives.org/sanchez - please write in "Dreams") via the Madison Community Foundation.
The family wishes to thank María's primary physician, Dr. Kathleen Carr and her Agrace Hospice support team for their excellent care.
Mom, you will be greatly missed and always remembered for your courage, warm good humor and deep love of humanity. Thank you for being so strong for so many for so long.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
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Dear Ismael and family, I just returned from vacation and learned of Maria's passing today. Though I never met her in person, I always enjoyed working with her over the phone. I was truly amazed when I read her obituary, and all that she accomplished. She was obviously well-loved and well-respected. I am sure your family's grief is deep. Lo siento mucho!
Michael Grzenia Agency, American Family Insurance
Maria was extremely kind to our family when each of our kids were her students at Jefferson. She even offered us a ride to school one day when she saw us on her route and thought we were having car trouble. We will always remember her genuine affection for her students and her generous spirit. We feel fortunate to have known her. Our thoughts are with your family.
The Cryer Family -- Joel, Hannah, Kirk and Cathy
Dear Covarrubias Family,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of this wonderful woman - Maria. I want you all to know that I have very fond memories of working with Maria at Chavez Elementary School. Two memories in particular: One day after working together for a while, Maria told me in detail her attempts, separations, physical battles, and overall struggles and determination to cross the border for a better life for her family. I had had not idea up to that point...and was completely in awe at what she had done and become with her life. On an other day, while studying US history, Maria gave up her prep time to come to my class, tell some of her story, and help us all make delicious Mexican hot cocoa. It was such gift, and I think back on it so fondly. She touched so many lives - young and old. What a blessing to have crossed paths with her!
Her spirit runs through all of you and I pray that this and memories of her sustain you all as you travel forward.
Very sorry for your lost may she be at peace was a wonderful person. From the Villarreal
For Ismeal and family. Our deep felt sorrow for your loss is overpowering. We will keep you and yours in our prayers.
I had the pleasure of teaching with Maria the first years of Chavez school. She was a consummate teacher and joyful friend. Due to my own health issues I took an early retirement and the years have flown away. I was unaware that Maria was ill and am very sorry for her suffering. The world will be a sadder place for not having her in it and my sympathy is extended to all of you as you continue life without her. Please know you will be in my heart and prayers in the days ahead.
QDEP - Mi más sentido pésame para toda la familia Cuvarrubias. Solo con su hermosa sonrisa María del Rosario iluminaba el espacio en donde se encontrara. Su vida y su carrera profesional son un ejemplo a seguir. Son personas como ella quienes marcan ladiferencia en todas las vidas que tocan. Le debemos mucho a María y la vamos a extrañar mucho más. Un saludo para tí Jorge, María Ester y todos los demás miebros de la familia. Con sincero afecto, Clara Barbosa
I will always think fondly of Maria and her wonderful family! The world needs more Marias! I worked with her at John Muir Elementary for many years ; and was privileged to call her my friend! We shared many laughs, many hugs, and a shared love for God, family, and kids! Rest In Peace dear Maria. Jolynn Myers
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mrs. Covarrubias. As an ESL student of hers many years ago at John Muir, she was an instrumental part of my (and many other students) educational experience. My memories of her are of a warm, passionate, fun and dedicated teacher. She was an advocate for all of her students and for her community. Many people, myself included, are better for knowing her. She will be sorely missed. My condolences to her family and friends who have lost a remarkable person.
Rest In Peace Mrs. Covarrubias
Though I did not have the honor of having met Maria, I had the fortunate opportunity of working with her son, Jorge Covarrubias. Jorge's character demonstrates what an amazing woman Maria was and through her, her legacy will live on in her family and all those who had the honor of knowing this phenomenal woman. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. RIP, Maria.
Mi más sincero pésame a la familia Covarrubias. La determinación de María, su dedicación a la educación, y el amor por su familia y la comunidad son su legado, y sigue vivo en sus hijos. Qué descanse en paz.
Thank you for your support and friendship. My prayers go out to your family during this difficult time.
Maria was a longtime friend and teaching teammate. Our extended family is very sad to learn of her passing. Maria was once selected by my children, Audrey and Andy, to receive their Mom's scholarship (Patricia Buchanan Memorial Scholarship) at the UW-Madison School of Education. We would be honored to support a scholarship in memory of her amazing contributions to public education.
Maria was a great friend & colleague. Nothing put a bigger smile on my face than hearing Maria's perspective of things. She had a great love for her family & for the children she taught. She will be missed. My sympathies to her whole family. Cindy
QEPD - thinking of you and your family, Julie - from your old co-worker, Cristina.
Thank you for always caring, you made a huge difference in my life. You will be missed by many.
Our heartfelt condolences to the Covarrubias family.
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