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Rosa Laja Torres

Rosa Laja Torres

Saturday, August 22nd, 1936 - Sunday, August 16th, 2020
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Obituary

Rosa Alhaja Vergara Zambrano was born in Calceta Manabi, Ecuador on August 22, 1936, to the late Jose Luis Vergara and Francisca Antonia (Perfecta) Mendoza Zambrano. She was the eldest of three children – sister Rini (Rubia) Medina (deceased) and brother Ismael Mendoza. Rosa changed her name and was lovingly known as “Laja” to her family and friends.

In Ecuador, Laja was a seamstress and was well known for her patterns and finished seams. Despite harsh circumstances, she taught herself how to read and write. She also owned a local bodega in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

In December of 1966, Laja and Jose Alberto Torres (her late husband) migrated to New York City. She often recollected how cold it was and that they only had one sucre (an Ecuadorian dollar) in their pockets.

Laja was the mother to five beautiful daughters. For many years, she worked in the famous Fashion District in New York City, as a seamstress. She designed specialized clothing for porcelain dolls. She was a hard worker, often working multiple jobs to provide for her family.

Rosa Laja was kind, loving, resilient, stern, funny, sarcastic, and compassionate.
She was an animal lover and an amazing cook. Her panes (cheesy bread), fritada (Ecuadorian pork fry and sweet plantains), and seco de pollo (Ecuadorian chicken stew) were among her staple dishes. She liked to watch television, especially cooking shows. Her favorite singer was Rafael de Espana (a famous spaniard singer) and she was often caught singing his music and spanish christian music, “Alabare”. Rosa Laja was a self-taught artist, who designed and created many wonderful and one of a kind crochet and rosary pieces. Most of all, she was a woman of God; who loved and cherished her family. She was a book lover who read daily. Her most valued books were The Bible and her books on the saints.

Rosa Laja fought long and hard until God called her home. She transitioned into eternal rest on August 16, 2020.

She was predeceased by her parents; Jose Luis Vergara and Perfecta Mendoza, her sister Rini Mora and her husband Jose Alberto Torres. She is survived by loved ones who honor and cherish her memory: her five daughters Kattia “Julie”, Maritza, Maria, Evelyn, and Laura; her brother Ismael Mendoza; her grandchildren Judith, Gilberto, Kattia, Julie, Zoila, Yessenia, Savannah, Maritza “Cita”, Timothy, Jaqueline, Yvonne, Yasmin, and Eden; her great grandchildren, nieces, a host of extended family and friends, and of course her beloved dog, Eva.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, August 29th, 2020 | 11:00am - 2:00pm
    When
    Saturday, August 29th, 2020 11:00am - 2:00pm
    Location
    Roth-Goldsteins' Memorial Chapel
    Address
    116 Pacific Avenue
    ATLANTIC CITY, NJ 08401
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, August 29th, 2020 | 2:00pm
    When
    Saturday, August 29th, 2020 2:00pm
    Location
    Roth-Goldsteins' Memorial Chapel
    Address
    116 Pacific Avenue
    ATLANTIC CITY, NJ 08401
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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