Emilia V. Candelaria passed away on May 18, 2020, in Glendale, Arizona at the age of 84. She was born on May 14, 1937, in Clifton, Arizona to Victoriano and Elvira Labrada Verdugo. Emilia was born somewhere in the middle of the 11 children; Irene, Roy, Epeminia, Linda, Lonie, Victor, Gene, Nellie, Roger, and Johnny.
Emilia grew up in Clifton, where she made many friends and graduated from Clifton High School. She was a caregiver to her siblings as both of her parents worked outside of the home, so she learned many homemaking skills early in her life.
She met and eventually married Abe Candelaria and the couple lovingly welcomed each of their children; Joseph Abe, Andrew Felix, and Vera. She was a devoted mother, a very good cook, and kept an immaculate house. She was a feisty little thing that you didn’t want to make mad. That being said, she was a sweet lady who had plenty of love for those around her.
“Nana Tootsie” loved her grandchildren. She would sit on the porch with her love, Abe, who could still make her blush, and all 10 grandchildren would be running in and out of the house. She would sit there with her fly swatter in hand threatening the flies and maybe the grandchildren. Nana Tootsie was dearly loved by all of her children and grandchildren.
Emilia had great faith in God and was also very devoted to the Catholic Church, spending many hours at prayer group, and cooking and cleaning at the church.
She is survived by her children, Joseph Abe Candelaria, of Morenci, and Vera Smith, of Phoenix. She is also survived by her siblings, Irene Rodriguez, of Globe, Roy Verdugo, of Claypool, Epeminia Mejia, of Bell Gardens, California, Linda Cuevas, of La Miranda, California, and 10 Grandchildren.
Emilia is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Abe Candelaria; her son, Andrew “Andy” Candelaria, and her siblings, Lonie, Victor, Gene, Nellie, Roger, and Johnny Verdugo.
A graveside service was held Friday, May 22, at 9 a.m., at the Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Arrangements were under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.