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1929 Lydia Jenoure 2024

Lydia Jenoure

September 17, 1929 — February 22, 2024

Bowie

Lydia Jenoure was born on September 17, 1929 in East Harlem, New York. The second of four children, her parents Jesusa Lanzó and Alfonso Lopez were Catholic, Spanish-speaking immigrants from Puerto Rico. Lydia was a millinery student who graduated from Mabel Dean High School in Manhattan and went to work at a factory in the garment district. In 1948 she was set up on a blind date with Vincent Jenoure and in 1950, she married her date. But Vincent was Protestant and because the Catholic church did not allow the marriage ceremony to a non-Catholic, she converted and joined his Presbyterian denomination, attending the Church of the Good Neighbor for nearly 20 years.  She always talked about how much she loved the singing and the bible stories of that church. She and Vincent and had three children, whom they raised in the Bronx at 1440 Bronx River Avenue. She and Vincent believed that she should be home when the children left for school in the morning and returned in the afternoon, so she quit that factory job and worked part time as a Spanish translator for Junior High School 127, and later for Joseph’s a hair salon in Manhattan where she greeted the Spanish-speaking customers.

 

Lydia’s family hailed from Loiza, a small town on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico that is known for its African cultural retention. As the major port where enslaved Yoruba of West Africa were brought to work the sugar plantations, her parent’s home in Loiza has remained in the family’s hands for many generations. Lydia loved her culture and along with her mother, her siblings Carmen, Auria, and Alfonso, she shared her culture with her children. The food: arroz con abichuelas, pernil, pasteles, arroz con dulce; The dances: salsa, merengue, bomba, plena, pachanga. And the stories of her parents and aunts who had come to this country only recently.

 

In 2001, Lydia made a visit to her family home in Puerto Rico for the first and only time. She met her uncle Amador, and joined in a celebration where everyone was barefoot and a large capful of rum was passed around. Lydia was very particular concerning cleanliness, so she probably didn’t sip.

 

She was very proud of her roots. Even when she was in assisted living as more and more of her memory was failing, she would ask people who were not Puerto Rican, but who appeared in her eyes to be Puerto Rican, “Are you sure you’re not Puerto Rican? But then again, who knows? They probably were. Because nothing got past Lydia. Even as a young mother, when faced by possible deception by her children, she would quickly get to the bottom of things announcing proudly, “Huh! I should have been a detective!” Nothing got past her.

 

Lydia was disciplined. She was meticulous, elegant, orderly, punctual, reliable, strict, well-mannered, shy, graceful, and frugal. Her home was calm and free of clutter and drama. But most obvious to anyone who knew or had just met her, Lydia loved life. She loved to laugh. She loved to dance. And, if you played Latin music she jumped to her feet and moved gracefully. Someone once declared that if you dance with Lydia and you are a poor dancer, she will make you look good! She sang all the time, while washing dishes, cleaning her home, or just about any time the spirit moved her. She was known to burst into song at the drop of a hat.

 

Her husband Vincent would often say, “She’s a good mother.” Her own mother toward the end of her life as she lay in the hospital said “Lydia. She’s a good daughter.” But, it was God who Lydia aimed to please. We were just so fortunate that she practiced pleasing Him through us.

 

In 2021, she and Vincent celebrated 71 years of marriage, shortly before his passing.

 

She is survived by her children Theresa (Michael O’Bannon), Vincent and Maurice (Rita), grandchildren Chardae (James McCreary) and Tia, great granddaughter Dylan, sister-in-law Jacqueline Grace Jenoure, and numerous nieces and nephews.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

5:30 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Burial

Thursday, February 29, 2024

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