Obituary of Nellie Tanco

June 1, 2024

Nellie Tanco Ramos, daughter of the late Carmen Ramos Soto De Tanco and Domingo “Sonddi” Tanco Thomspon was born October 17, 1947 in Santurce, San Jaun, Puerto Rico.

Her siblings: Lucy Tanco, Sammy Tanco, Susana Tanco, Felix Tanco, Domingo Tanco Jr, Alejandro Tanco, Gloria Tanco, Carmen Tanco, and Angel-Luis Tanco.

She is one of 10 children; Lucy Tanco, Sammy Tanco, Susana Tanco (d), Felix Tanco (d), Carmen Tanco, Domingo Tanco Jr, Gloria Tanco, Alejandro Tanco (d), Angel Luis Tanco (d).

Growing up Nellie was a curious girl; always asking questions.  She was relentless in her pursuit of learning and knowledge.  She was also very opinionated and throughout her life did not mind sharing her point of view with others.

Nellie came to the United State from Puerto Rico at the age of 23 and immediately began to work as an Executive Secretary.  She worked for JC Penny & Co for the majority of her career and in 1986 was asked to relocate to Texas for a job opportunity.  Because of her unwavering love for her family, especially her mother, Nellie declined the job opportunity in Texas and stayed in NY.

In typical Nellie style she took lemons and made lemonade and began a full-time career in music performance.  As a child she always loved to dance and sing, so a career in music performance was perfect for Nellie.  As a young girl in Puerto Rico she had learned to play the pandereta from Carlo “Colorao” Gonzalez and was a fan of David “Cocaracha” Rivera; a local singer who performed throughout her neighborhood in Santurce.  Nellie’s career flourished as an active member of “Los Pleneos de la 21” and became one of the main faces of the group.  Through the Pleneros Nellie proved to be a trailblazer for Puerto Rican culture and received numerous accolades and recognition.  She became an inspiration for generations of the folk sound of Bomba y Plena. Her voice moved and carried within the Bomba y Plena community, leaving an imprint in the culture. As many may know her for Bomba y Plena, the loved ones here today know her for being a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt, godmother, and more.

Nellie had a deep love for her family and family was always at the center of everything she did.  In 1985 she met Jacinto “Cuba” Chape and began a life with him.  This union blessed Nellie with her only child, her son, Isaac Chape-Tanco, born on July 30th, 1988. Becoming a mother proved to be one of Nellie’s proudest achievements and although she was the mother to only 1 child, she was a mother figure to so many more.  In her life, Nellie has helped, supported, comforted, advised, been there for and prayed for so many of the younger members of her family.

Nellie was strong, hard nosed, loving, very spiritual, and filled with wisdom. She was a woman of her word and fulfilled any commitment or promises she made. Nellie’s influence in the world and more importantly in the lives of all who knew her will forever be remembered.  She departed this life Saturday, June 1st 2024 at Mount Sinai West Hospital surrounded by her family members display her most loved motto;  paz, amor y alegria.

Her beautiful life will forever be carried on by her son Isaac Chape-Tanco and grandson Zachariah Sondy Chape-Tanco.

Funeral Services


June 7, 2024

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Crestwood Funeral Home

445 W 43rd Street

New York, NY 10036

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June 8, 2024

11:15 AM

St. Raymond's Cemetery

2600 Lafayette Avenue

Bronx, NY 10465

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