My grandmother came from humble beginnings; she grew up on a farm, moved to Martha's Vineyard in her young adolescent years and remained there for the majority of her life. That is where she met her husband Manuel J. Nunes Jr. and she brought her four children into this world: Lena, Manny, April and Theresa. She has a large following of great and great great grandchildren and from her life has created a large empire to follow.
She shined her best when she was in nature. She was a gifted gardener and was truly at peace with her animals. She had a best friend that she thought of as a sister named Louise. They were each other's confidants over coffee and cigarettes. They shared many passions; especially cribbage, online cards, and bingo, gods bless them! In my grandmother's time, she was quite an athlete. She loved bowling and golfing, long walks on the Edgartown golf links and swimming at dusk on the beach.
What I will remember most about my grandmother is her kindness to others and god's animals and her ability to persevere. She would give you what she had even if she had very little to give, and in the end you cannot put a price on that quality because it is an enormity of selflessness. She was an incredibly hard worker, with no formal education she managed to hold a home on the Island and rear her children through being: a caretaker to others, waitress, housekeeper and landscaper among other roles. Because of this she gave her family the tools to build successful families of their own and handle whatever life tends to throw at you. She never complained about how hard she had to struggle or what she did or did not have. She loved to meet people and chat with them about simple pleasantries and talks of her grandchildren and their accomplishments.
My "Grammy," as I liked to call her, had a beautiful spirit and although she was in a body of an 81-year-old, she had the playfulness and sweetness of a young girl. She was very well liked and loved to all who had had the privilege of knowing her, on Island and off. She will be greatly missed.
Maria Esther Nunes left this world quietly on Feb. 16 at 3 am, after a long and drawn-out battle. She was finally able to join her husband and family that had made that journey prior to her. It just so happens on this particular day I was celebrating the first birthday of my youngest son, one of her youngest grandsons. Even in passing, the mother of our families' tree spirit is in flight, but her seeds will continue bearing the gift of life and all that it has to give throughout her legacy.
Services are private.
In loving Memory: The Mongillo Family and The Saunder Family.