Aura J. Colmenares, age 85, was born in Maracaibo, Vzla, and died on the day of Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2021 at Briarwood Care Facility of Stow, due to complications from COVID.
Rafael O. Colmenares, age 86, was born in Caracas, Vzla, and died on Jan. 7, 2021 at Ahuja Medical Center Beachwood, due to complications from COVID.
Married for 57 years they are survived by their children Rafael H. (Stephanie) and Aura M. (partner Gregg), and their grandchildren: Monica, Heli, and Gabe.
Aura is survived by her siblings, Gretta (Alfredo) Julio (Tibisay) and Luz. She was preceded in death by her sister: Violeta.
Rafael is survived by his brothers, Johnny (d. Yanoselli) and Nelson. He was preceded in death by his brothers: Jose, Freddy, and Hector.
Both were dearly loved by many nieces, nephews, and grieved by many friends and extended family in the U.S and abroad.
Aura’s aviation career spanned 45 years. She started working for KLM in Venezuela and then for Viasa Airlines as the Administrative Assistant to the President of the airline. She had a love for travel and languages- traveling to over 25 countries with her husband and later her family. Some of her dream destinations were Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.
She belonged to The Lagunita Country Club in Venezuela and spent many weekends playing golf and enjoying the day by the pool with her children. She was the only one in the family to score a Hole in One, on a Par 3 (much to the dismay and chagrin of her husband!).
Her career continued as the Station Assistant Manager for Viasa at the Miami International Airport, until her retirement in the late 1990’s.
Though she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in her mid 70’s, (with her husband at her side), she continued to enjoy many activities for the better part of 13 years.
Rafael attended the University of Alabama and before completing his Degree in Metallurgy, he returned to Venezuela after his father’s passing. While at ‘BAMA, he formed a musical group with other friends and through the years, at every reunion, enjoyed the camaraderie and memories reviving their musical talents. These were lifelong friendships, spanning over six decades. After getting married, he had built their first house in the outskirts of Caracas, in San Antonio de los Altos. Teaching mathematics in a local university, he was the coolest professor arriving on his Harley. Apart from his mathematical talents, he truly was a walking encyclopedia of heavy machinery- spanning over 35 years of sales experience.
He was an avid golfer, enjoyed playing his guitar, his espresso whenever and where ever he could have one, and he could make a mean Manhattan.
He cared for his wife for 15 years, after her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Retirement would bring them to Cleveland, Ohio.
They enjoyed many school presentations, holidays and outings with family.
Too many friends to mention and loved by each one.
Their dance card/ social calendar was filled with various events & outings throughout the city. From Foodie Fridays at Whole Foods, Food Truck Mondays/ Summer Bands at Legacy Village, Mardi Gras at Paladar, NE Ohio Wineries, and musical nights at Barroco- where the sounds of his maracas keeping the rhythm will be missed.