Maria Josefina Tiaba, 84, fantastic cook known for her Cuban and Filipino dishes

Maria Josefina Tiaba

Maria Josefina Tiaba, 84, peacefully passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at her home in Virginia Beach surrounded by her family.

She was born June 2, 1935, in Guantanamo, Cuba, and raised by her cherished aunt Delia and uncle Narciso. Her early years in Cuba were spent in the company of her half-siblings Lenore and Carlos and their cousin Ivan.

She met the love of her life Severino Tiaba when, as if by fate, he was stationed at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay after joining the service from his home in the Philippines. They wed Aug. 28, 1953, and were together for 51 wonderful years. Their union bore eight children, 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. The couple moved up and down the East Coast as Severino was reassigned to different naval bases before finally settling in Tidewater in 1961. In 1998, Maria was proud to become an officially naturalized American citizen.

Maria’s family and friends will treasure their many fond memories of her, including her busy at work in the kitchen cooking Cuban and Filipino dishes with her husband as well as her love of salsa dancing. When her husband Severino was alive, they could always be found either out playing bingo or home taking care of their beloved dogs. She will most strongly be remembered for hallmarks of her personality, including her irreverent sense of humor and her big heart.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Severino; and son-in-law, Scotty Miller.

She is survived by her daughter, Lena, and her husband, Rey, and their children, Ilani, Rey and Marisa; daughter, Edith, and her children, Jennifer and Ricky; daughter, Caridad, and her husband, Dean, and Caridad’s daughter, Jade; son, Bernardo, and his partner, Stephen; son, Severino, and his wife, Sherry, and their children, Mitchell, Ross and Alexandra; daughter, Rosemary, and her husband, David and their children Lauren, David, and Nicky; son, Frank, and his wife, Debbie, and their children, Frank and Sydney; and son, Michael, and his wife, Christy, and their children, Cayla, Jordan, Alisa and Logan. Her great-grandchildren include Bella, Noah, Jasmine, Sierra, Brianna, Jax, Rowan, Jet, Zian, River, Kai, Griffin, Oliver and Levi.

A private funeral service and burial for the family will be conducted early this week in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation be made to the American Cancer Society or the American Diabetes Association.

Share online condolences with the family at Woodlawn Funeral Home.

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