Maria de la Luz Currens
Maria de la Luz Currens knew how to “dab” and she knew how to “dougie”. She was “iced” and took shots of tequila when coaxed by her seven grandchildren. She was the cool grandma. No, the COOLEST grandma! Maria and her husband of 53 years, Charles, took their grandkids to Disney World, went to concerts and wrestling matches with them and took them to see the Cubs, her favorite team. She went to their games-basketball, football, softball, volleyball, baseball and cheer competitions- to support them and show them she loved them. There is no doubt they were her world. She also had two great grandchildren, Skyler Currens and Spencer Yunker, who were just learning how fiercely she loved.
Of course, her three children, Yvette, Chuck and Yvonne have known this all their lives because she was there for them too. As a bus driver for Washington Community High School she was fortunate to drive them to many of their extra curricular activities. When she wasn’t driving, she was volunteering as a chaperone or “room mom” to help with holiday classroom parties. Anything to spend time with her kids. In the process, she met and left impressions on so many young people and adults. Always sharing a smile, a laugh, a word of advice or encouragement. Maria didn’t stop there though. You always knew what she was thinking. She really didn’t hold back anything. But there was never any doubt that she cared and loved you.
When Chuck met her in Peoria, IL, in 1967, he didn’t know all of these things. He was mesmerized by her laugh, her smile, those dimples! He first met her when she and a friend walked past his stoop. His roommate knew Maria and introduced them. It wasn’t love at first sight. Chuck thought she was cute but cocky. Little did he know the feeling was mutual. Fast forward a few months when Chuck was working at the grocery store and Maria strolled in. He crashed a pallet of potatoes into a display as she flashed her smile and dimples and said “Hi!” He composed himself and chased her down in the parking lot where he asked her out on a date. The rest as they say is history, or in this case, their story.
Maria was an outgoing, outspoken woman who had many friends. Her neighbors, coworkers from Methodist Medical Center, and church members from Roland Manor Baptist Church and Galena Park Baptist Church. Everyone knew she practiced retail therapy and loved to find a bargain. If you were looking for a particular item, all you had to do was let her know. She made it her mission to find it and would often call her assistants (Yvonne, Yvette and various friends) to keep an eye out for whatever it was. It brought her joy to help others in even the smallest ways.
In the early years of marriage, when funds were tight for her growing family, Maria took up “sale-ing”. When you say it out loud you might think she owned a boat. But alas, she and her BFF Diana would pack the car with 6 kids on Thursday mornings in the summer and head off to the area garage sales to find their next bargain.
You see, Maria came from a large family and learned how to stretch a dollar. She was the second oldest, the first daughter, of ten children. Her parents, Jose and Teodora Ponce, married in Texas and settled in Brownsville where she was born on August 26, 1946. They moved their family to Peoria, IL in 1955 where they grew the family from seven to ten children. That’s where Maria blossomed into a strong, loving woman. She and Chuck moved to Washington, IL to raise their family and then retired to Cape Coral, FL with their fur babies Sugar and Sweetness, where they reside today.
Maria was called home to Jesus on February 9, 2021 after contracting the COVID-19 virus. She was met at the pearly gates by her parents, her son, Charles Currens II, her brothers, Esteban Ponce and Ismael Ponce, her pup, Sugar and many other loved ones.
Her love, laughter, smile, and daily phone calls will be missed by her husband Charles Currens, her daughters, Yvette Hodges and Yvonne Bambule and her sons-in-law Matthew Hodges and Jeff Bambule.
Her grandchildren, Lauren Currens, Josee Hodges, Juell Hodges, Jacob Bambule, Jazmynn Hodges, Kaylee Bambule and Jaeden Hodges will miss her smile, texts, silly snap chats, flash dances and willingness to try new things.
Her siblings, Andres Cervantes (Lisa), Eduardo Ponce, Ernestina Stelmach (Artur), Evangelina Albaugh (Larry), Rogelio Ponce, Norma Ponce and Ricardo Ponce will remember how she loved to dance and laugh. They’ll remember her love (sometimes tough) and how she stood up for them.
Her God daughter, Cecilia Workman will treasure Maria’s big heart, fighting spirit and protective love. Many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews will miss her thoughtfulness and support.
Maria’s gift was her infectious smile and laugh. Her legacy will be how she shared that gift, and her strength and love- carried on by all who knew and loved her. Honor her by sharing your gift, doing kind deeds, sharing a smile with a stranger and showing and telling your family and friends how much you love them.
Maria’s life will be celebrated at a later date for friends and family to gather.
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.