Photo of Maria Johannesen
Maria Johannesen

Maria Johannesen

November 8, 2019

born Maria Gloria Estela Cuadra Perez, in Managua, Nicaragua, in 1924, and was known to all as Estela or Doña Estela. She survived the great Managua earthquake of 1931, where between 1,000 and 2,450 people were killed and at least 45,000 were left homeless. In her early twenties, she came to the neighboring country of Costa Rica, where she met Ragnar Johannesen, a Norwegian World War II veteran. They fell in love, married and together had six (6) children. In the mid-1970s she came to this country and for the rest of her life, she went back and forth between New York City and Costa Rica. She became an American citizen in the early 1980s. She loved to be in New York in the Winter, and she loved this country so much that she chooses to be buried here.

For most of the time she was in New York City she lived in the Hell's Kitchen/Clinton community, for the last twenty (20) plus years residing on Eighth Avenue between West 50th Street and West 51st Street in the heart of Manhattan. Having been born and grown up in a big city, she thrived in the busy street life of her adopted home town. She attended the local senior center, Hartley House on West 46th Street, and although she would faithfully go to Mass in the local neighborhood church when visiting her children in Brooklyn and Queens, her home church was Holy Cross Church on West 42nd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, across the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

She loved plants and gardening, flea markets and stoop sales, church processionals, street fairs and parades (never missing the 9th Avenue Festival or the Thanksgivings Day Parade) and going to Times Square on New Year's Eve by herself, no matter how cold it got. She loved to travel and did so throughout her life. In her 60s she traveled through Central America, and in her 70s and 80s, she visited Nicaragua, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Paris, Spain, Italy, and Lebanon.

Her husband passed away in 1994, and she was predeceased by her younger brother Geronimo and younger sister Luisa. Doña Estela passed away on November 8, 2019, survived by her six (6) children and their spouses: Angela/Maria Meskin (Ben), Eric Johannesen (Sarita), Nini Johannesen (Luis Wong, deceased), Gerd Johannesen (Roger Eduardo), Ragnar Johannesen (Rebeca), and Estela Johannesen; thirteen (13) grandchildren; ten (10) great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Funeral Services

Visitation

November 13, 2019

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Crestwood Funeral Home

445 West 43rd Street

New York, NY 10012

Get Directions

Visitation

November 13, 2019

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Crestwood Funeral Home

445 West 43rd Street

New York, NY 10012

Get Directions

Share a Memory

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To a great woman that taught me a lot especially to have a personal relationship with God. I call her my grandmother since she was my mother's best friend. And her kids and I grow up together.

May you all find comfort in the lord. She left a great legacy.


Posted by: Sharon Guzman - Florida, FL - November 19, 2019