Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Adela Peña

November 8, 1925 - May 17, 2022
Holland, MI



Monday, May 23, 2022
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM EDT
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
171 West 13th Street
Holland, MI 49423


Monday, May 23, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
171 West 13th Street
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


In Loving Memory-Adela Peña November 8, 1925-May 17, 2022.

Adela was born on November 8, 1925 and died on May 17, 2022.

Adela was born in Puebla, Mexico to Santos and Angela (Palacios) Lopez. Adela was 3 years old when she survived a near drowning in crossing of the Rio Grande into Texas, with her parents. This experience understandably caused a lifelong fear of water.

Adela was a dutiful daughter, raised in the Roman Catholic Church, who helped her parents with household chores, caring for younger siblings, and preparing meals. She excelled in the kitchen with her mother, preparing many traditional Mexican dishes.

Adela, growing up in Laredo, Texas also took school very seriously, and dreamt of becoming a nurse. This goal of hers was interrupted by the economic needs of her family, and she dropped out of 8th grade to pursue work. Nevertheless, she enjoyed reading and was fond of paperback novelas (Spanish romance novels) and magazines.

At the age of 25yrs old, Adela married Augustin Almanza and they had 10 children, 3 sons and 7 daughters.

Adela learned to speak English with her firstborn child. Her English fluency grew with each child and after about 9 years, Adela took classes for United States Citizenship and went on to pass the test for US Citizen. It was a very proud moment for her, and showed the perseverance she had with attaining her goals. It also showed her respect for education and learning new things.

Adela worked for most of her life outside of home because of the economic needs of her family. She still managed to maintain her household chores (with assistance from her older children) and always planned and cooked meals, especially breakfast, to make sure her children had it available, before she left for work at 6am.

Adela continued to care for her family as a single mom, after her 20 year marriage was dissolved.

Adela still had 7 younger children at home (elementary age to high school), to care for as a single mom.

Adela was able to persevere in spite of the hardships of single moms with finding housing, making sure bills are paid, and that her children got to school while she worked. Adela always placed her faith in prayer with God (along with her hard work), that He would help her through. The crisis of housing was lifted when she met a special person who helped her obtain a house. Her faith in God strengthened.

Adela always worked a fulltime job, the last one being as an interior detail painter of yachts with the Chris Craft company. This is where she met the love of her life, Alex Peña Sr. Adela’s family was happy to see how Alex adored her. They married when Adela was 55 years old and newly retired from Chris Craft. They moved to Texas with her 3 youngest daughters (by then preteens), and eventually settled in Austin, Texas. Alex and Adela then developed a cleaning business. They were happily married for 5 years before Alex’s sudden death in 1986.

A few months after Alex’s death, Adela moved back to Holland, Michigan, and spent many years caring for several grandchildren, cooking her fabulous meals, teaching the grandchildren (as they got older), to cook as well. Adela enjoyed some gardening and she loved flowers, babying her huge Rhododendron in the front yard. An animal lover, Adela also enjoyed a couple pet cats, and the last of her dogs, Dusty.

Adela spent many years at St Francis De Sales and volunteered for the Guadalupanas into her 80’s. Adela would contribute her excellent salsa to the monthly “Taco Sundays” at church when she could no longer physically work the kitchen. She also took time to participate in other events at St Francis De Sales with friendships she developed while being a part of the Guadalupanas.

Adela is survived by her sisters: Josefina Saldivar and Maria Carmen Tapia.

Adela is also survived by her children: Linda (Brad) Bodkins, Alicia (Carlos) Vera, Andrew Almanza, Irene (Edward) Serrano, Jane (David) Bazan, Albert (Nancy) Almanza, Esther (Hector) Zuniga, Mary (Rudy) Beltran, Cynthia (Mark) Quintero, all of Holland, and Joe (Betty) Almanza of California.

Adela is survived by step-children: Mamie Lopez, David Peña, and Alex Peña Jr.

Also surviving are Adela’s 29 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren.

Adela was preceded in death by her husband, Alex Peña Sr.

Her brothers: Lino Lopez, Jesus Guadalupe (Jesse) Lopez, and Fermin Lopez

A funeral mass will be held at 11 am, Monday (May 23), at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 171 West 13th Street, with Father Charlie Brown officiating. Burial will be in Pilgrim Home Cemetery. Visitation will be 9-10:45 am prior to the service, at the church. At the families request, masks are suggested.

Arrangements are by the Dykstra Funeral Home-Mulder Chapel.