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Legula Georgina Estelle Styles-Estiloz (YumYum), age 106 (BD 01-20-1917), of Oakmont passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family the morning of Tuesday November 28, 2023.
Loving mother of Donna Hernandez (late Ronald), Mary Velazquez (late Carlos), and Timothy Estiloz; beloved grandmother to late Johnson Hernandez, late Mas'te Hernandez, Joshua Hernandez, Ian Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, late Lela Hernandez, and late Mario-Diego Velazquez; great grandmother to Salena Hernandez (Monté Newbill), Sebrina Hernandez-Miley, Anthony Hernandez, and Alyssa Hernandez; cherished aunt to late Christina Harwood, Donna Marie, Mark DeMarinella, Debbie DeMarinella, Naomi Stephenson (Dave) with whom she was cared for and lived with them for three years in Penn Hills before moving to Demor Towers, Verona in 2012; beloved sister to late Norma (Norma) Greene (late Elmer), late Ruth Griffin, late Albert Harwood-DeMarinella (late Joan), late Mark Harwood-DeMarinella (late Mary), Herman Harwood-DeMarinella, and late Janie Harwood-DeMarinella. She was the wife of the late Fitzhugh Lee Styles and the daughter of the late George Frances Maxwell de Harwood and late Legula (Minnie) de Harwood y Marinella.
Legula attended and graduated with honors from Taylor Alderdice High School in Squirrel Hill and was proud of her education there. She went on to study at Carnegie Tech and had a career as an OB-GYN Registered Nurse.
She was a talented musician in her younger years, playing the violin in school and in the Pittsburgh City-wide School Orchestra and giving individual recitals with her brother, Albert, and sometimes playing the piano for fun. She liked to draw and paint and loved designing dresses in her younger years.
She loved all types of music. She wrote poetry and prose, was a gifted public speaker and loved to dance, sing and perform for other people's entertainment and make them smile. She delighted in making people happy.
Legula enjoyed traveling to National Parks and local parks where she enjoyed feeding animals and the different birds. When visiting with her niece Naomi, she liked to feed the squirrels. She loved visiting the beach especially to the Atlantic Ocean. She was known for her life of love and faith, caring and giving tirelessly to others and family.
Most of all, Legula's Christian faith and personal connection to God and Jesus Christ was a driving force in her life. She loved to tell all who would listen about her profound love and devotion to our Lord in Heaven.
She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her, especially by her family and children.
Visitation will be held from 2-4 Thursday December 7, 2023, at the Findlay C. Wylie Funeral Home Inc., 11311 Frankstown Road Penn Hills. A Funeral Service will be held, following visitation on December 7, at 4:00 pm. Private Burial will take place on Friday at Greenwood Cemetery.
Donations in her name may be given to: St. Jude's Children's Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105
Remembering My Mom: written by her son Tim
The following is likely the most difficult - and most dreaded thing I will ever publicly write.
I’m deeply heartbroken to tell you that this week, my dearest Mom, Legula Estelle Georgina Estiloz has passed away, less than two months shy of celebrating her 107th birthday.
She was born during the Influenza Pandemic of 1917 and survived the Covid pandemic.
Many of you know that she suffered a stroke just about one month ago. For a short time immediately after that stroke, she seemed to be, once again, set to prove the astonishing strength and resilience that she’s shown over the past few years. Since turning 100 several years ago, she has beaten back two breast cancer lumps, survived successful surgery and radiation to treat them, multiple severe heart attacks, three bouts with Covid; the first most severe one occurred before there was even a vaccine in 2020 and two falls.
After this recent stroke, she seemed to be physically recovering her mobility very well for two weeks. However, shortly after that, she began to eat and drink less and less and sleep more and more. Further tiny details aren’t necessary here, but it seems Mom’s frail body had finally become too weary of her long courageous and valiant battle to stay with her family.
Suffice to say and most importantly is that my sweet Mom peacefully passed away in her sleep in the early morning - in her own comfortable bed at home. She literally died while my older sister and I held her in our arms as we slept on either side of her.
She always feared dying alone. I’m deeply grateful to God that circumstances astonishingly allowed her fears to go unfounded.
If you’ll allow me to exhibit a son’s pride for my Mom; she was a very multi-talented woman. She received a portion of her education after high school at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, PA; before ultimately becoming a skilled and respected OB-GYN Registered Nurse.
Mom was a talented musician in her younger years, playing classical violin in school and in the Pittsburgh City-wide School Orchestra frequently giving individual concert recitals with her equally talented brother, Albert. She also dabbled a little bit playing the piano.
She enjoyed drawing and painting; and she loved designing dresses on paper in her youth - for a time, contemplating a career as a fashion designer. I’m certain I get my art talent from my mother.
Mom loved all types of music. She often wrote original poetry and prose; with a gift for the romantic. She was a gifted public speaker and she also loved to dance, sing and perform for other people’s entertainment and make them smile. Though my mother couldn’t walk without assistance in recent years; she could still dance in her wheelchair as recently as one month ago; sometimes able to raise her legs waist high with a kick when she was feeling the music. She delighted in making people happy.
Mom enjoyed traveling to national parks and local parks where she enjoyed feeding the animals and different birds. She loved visiting the beach especially to the Atlantic Ocean; or even just getting in her car and taking a long ride into the countryside. Mom didn’t stop driving her own car until she was 90-years-old… and she was good at it, until SHE decided it was time to stop.
Mom was confident in her own driving… She just didn’t trust the other drivers anymore.
Without a doubt, my Mom was the strongest and most determined woman I know.
She was widowed at age 45 when my father passed away. Almost immediately, my Mom enrolled in nursing school. To pay for nursing school and also raise me and my two older sisters; my mother also worked a series of jobs. For a time, she turned down beds in a ritzy apartment complex. She worked watching kids in a child care nursery inside of what was, at the time, the nation’s largest luxury bowling alley in Willow Grove, PA. My Mom even did the jobs that men did, at a time when it wasn’t fashionable - working on a dangerous assembly line at a plastics injection mold factory with mostly men on either side of her work station.
My Mom worked hard for us and it paid off. In a few years, she not only graduated near the top of her nursing class; she also bought us a beautiful new house with a mammoth back yard for us to play in the quiet suburbs of Philadelphia. Our family still owns that home.
She always encouraged me and others to do the best you can. Drawing classes, piano classes, guitar classes, Boy Scouts, sports and more; my Mom always encouraged me to try everything. Long, long before Rocky Balboa talked about having perseverance - My Mom would tell us that every time you get knocked down - just get right back up and keep going. Never, ever give up and never let anyone tell you you’re not worthy.
Though my Mom was the sweetest thing; if you threatened her children, she had a fierce temper. I recall when I was only ten in our newly suburban home and we were perhaps one of only a few, if any, other people of color in the neighborhood at the time. We stood out a bit. One night early on after we moved in - Mom told me to take out the trash to the front curb by the street just around dusk.
A police car cruising by saw me carrying some trash boxes to the street - slowed down and shined their spotlight on me. Me, as a little kid - I froze,
But, I wasn’t standing there long because moments after the spotlight was shining on me from the patrol car - I heard my Mom’s voice booming from her petite frame standing on the front porch behind me yelling at the cops…
“YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE ! HE LIVES HERE !!”.
The police car turned off the spotlight and drove off. We never had anything remotely happen like that ever again.
Mom never lost nor diminished her sense of femininity and beauty. She knew how to work a camera.
If you look at the sepia toned photo of her below when she was 18 and notice how she tilts her head to smile at you… she continued that awareness of her “head tilt smiling pose” to her final year.
Look at her photos and see for yourself.
Lastly, my Mom was known for her passionate life of love and faith, caring and giving tirelessly to others and family. Three years ago, when she moved into her assisted living facility - ever the nurse - she would frequently visit other residents' rooms in her wheelchair to see if they had any needs. If they did need something, she would wheel herself to the nurses station and firmly suggest the resident in need get some nurse assistance pronto.
Most of all, my Mother’s Christian faith, devotion and personal connection to God and Jesus Christ was a driving force in her life. She loved to tell all who were willing to listen about her profound love and devotion to our Lord in Heaven.
Earlier, I wrote how Mom loved to write poetry and often she’d make up some silly rhymes too.
For her 104th birthday, she would say “I’m 104, and I’m back for more”.
For her 105th birthday, she would say “I’m 105, and I’m still alive!”
For her 106th birthday, she would say “I’m 106, and I’ve still got some tricks”.
I’m sure Mom would’ve had a rhyme for her 107th birthday in January; but I guess I’ll write one for her.
Mom, you’re almost 107, and I’ll see you in Heaven. I love you, Mom.