Crimilda Alfaro

The heart of her family and a friend to all, Crimilda Alfaro-Fernández, lived a life guided by love and faith. Born on May 2, 1949, to humble beginnings in Cabañas, El Salvador to Celia Alfaro, Crimilda spent her childhood helping her grandma Eusebia’s business where they would often travel to the border of Honduras to sell various household items. Crimilda, one of nine children, supported her family — including helping to raise some of her younger siblings. At a young age, Crimilda met Fabian Rivera, and became a mother to her first-born, Luis, and subsequently, Alfredo, Dora, and Carlos. Around 1975, Crimilda met Roberto Fausto Fernández while working in a textile factory and together went on to establish a home and complete her family with three additional children, Roberto, Ivania, and William. In 1980, war broke out in El Salvador and this proved to be a life-changing catalyst for Crimilda and everyone in her family. Guided by her love for her children and the desire to make their lives better than her own, Crimilda made the excruciatingly difficult decision to migrate to the United States in 1984 in search of better economic opportunities to lift her family out of poverty.
 
In the United States, Crimilda established a life for her family in Virginia where she worked tirelessly, spending hours on her feet, cleaning, cooking, and doing whatever she could to provide a lifetime of opportunity for her kids. Her children went on to make her a grandmother with numerous grandkids. With a sign in her home that reads “Grandma’s Kitchen,” she flourished as a grandmother, guiding her children to raise their own, and so steadily knowing how to advise them with every unexpected turn of parenthood. Crimilda was a caretaker, and not just to her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren, but to anyone who stopped by her home. She loved bringing her community together for a meal – most often for a cold glass of fresh homemade juice, pupusas, or a large boiling pot of chicken soup. Her family and friends would linger at her home, sharing stories of days past and indulging in her delicious cooking. This was most special on Sundays, when she would move about her home rhythmically to her favorite radio program broadcast from San Salvador, always impeccably dressed swaying in a flowy skirt, blouse, apron, and her gold jewelry.
 
When you spoke with Crimilda, she listened with an open heart. She had a calming nature and always remembered what people cared about. She was as kind as she was quick-witted – not hesitating to call out foolishness with her humor, especially from her children. She was the very essence of home and a pillar of strength. Her life was not easy, and yet, she persisted gracefully with every challenge that she faced, always prioritizing her loved ones. For many, she was and will forever be the strongest woman they know.
 
Just like her favorite flower, the sunflower which revolves around the sun, her family revolved around her. Forever loved, forever cherished, forever remembered. Her spirit will live on in her children, their children, and the many lives that she impacted.

Crimilda is survived by her husband, Roberto Fausto Fernández – their relationship spanned over four decades  – and her eight siblings, seven children, their spouses, children, and the many friends she made throughout her wonderful and loving life.