Ninfa Maria Elena Andrade Vigil
August 3, 1944
February 11, 2018
Ninfa Maria Elena Andrade came to America in 1967 from the most-poverty stricken conditions in her home country of Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. She was born August 3, 1944, to parents, Epimenio and Manuela Andrade. She would turn her ambition and tenacity for something more into a new life and journey. She met the love of her life, Agapito Vigil, in San Diego and married him in 1967. The two would settle in Westminster, Colorado, where they started their lives together and raised three daughters, Tammy, Patty, and Mary Vigil. In turn, they would bless her with three grandchildren, Kenny and Cameron Rzonca and Hailey Ottosen, and a great-grandchild Dallon Rzonca.
Ninfa never let a challenge keep her from achievement. She came to the USA as a Spanish-speaker but learned to speak, read and write English on her own. Hard work was not a foreign concept for her, and neither was friendship. She made friends wherever she’d go—not afraid to start conversations with people at parks, grocery stores and thrift stores where she loved to shop. She also loved reading, the outdoors and gardening–from that garden, turning tomatoes into salsa and Chile that she enjoyed sharing with friends and family. She also loved animals. Her two dogs fulfilled her need to care for something when her children had grown and moved out of the home. She enjoyed her daily walks with them.
But beyond anything, Ninfa loved and cared for her family. Her husband, Agapito, suffers from Alzheimer’s. And during the course of his disease, Ninfa continued her devotional care for him at home, until she could no longer lift him. After he moved into a long-term care facility, Ninfa would visit almost daily. This led to the creation of yet a third family–with residents and staff members there. Ninfa forged a special bond with those she encountered at the facility, trying to help in any way she could. Her selflessness included caring for one of her cognitively disabled adult child. She took her disabled adult child back home she could no longer care for herself. The two created a very special bond and relationship because of it.
And while Ninfa remained devoted to her immediate family’s every need, she never forgot the family she left behind in Mexico. That move saddened her heart. She was torn between the love and loyalty she had for both families. With little money, she could not visit them like she so greatly desired. She was only able to return to Mexico a handful of times after she had left as a young woman. And she did not have the advantages of today’s technology: the internet, cell phones, and FaceTime to keep in touch with them. Her family did not even have a home phone. But that pain is now erased. Ninfa passed away on Sunday, Feb. 11 from complications of a massive stroke she suffered on Friday, Feb. 2. She is reunited with the mother, father, brother, and sisters she left behind when she set out for a better life. Her husband, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchild could not be happier for her—though they miss her every moment.