Obituary of Amalia Luz Meteo-Reyes Winrow
Burial will be Live Streamed on Flora Price’s Facebook page at about10:15 AM Tuesday, March 31st
Amalia “Malina” Luz (Mateo-Reyes) Winrow, 99, was born July 10, 1920. She lived her last ordinary day here on earth beginning her first extraordinary day in Heaven on March 26, 2020. She was called by many names: Momma, Gramma, Granny and Miss Dolly but since childhood she has gone by the name of Malina. She was born in Coamo, Puerto Rico and left the island after meeting Jim Winrow her one true love at the Army base in San Juan. She first worked in New Orleans, then Los Angeles ending up in International Falls, MN for her wedding in 1945. After their 4th child was born with asthma, being their only son, they followed the doctors’ advice and moved to Auburndale, Florida in 1953 where she resided for her last 67 years. Malina spent her last days strong in both mind and body excited about all the plans being made for her 100th birthday party. She died suddenly of a hernia obstruction at home in the arms of her daughter Flora.
Malina was a faithful member of Victory Church in Lakeland. For about 20 years she sat in the 4th row preferring to be right up front until she lost her eyesight and was given a designated wheelchair accessible spot. She attended Dr. Van Doren's Scriptural Enrichment Sunday School Class, Wednesday night Fit-4-Life health class and Friday AdultPlus Senior Chapel service.
Everyone who knew Malina knew she loved going to church and loved music. She had the ability despite being blind to nod along to the rhythm never missing a beat. She could sit for hours listening, singing along and swaying to her favorite gospel songs or Oldie Goldie tunes. She even had her own Elvis impersonator who came to sing to her on Christmas and birthdays.
Malina was no stranger to hardships, suffering through the most intense hurricane ever to hit Puerto Rico as an 8-years old child which caused her fear of water, so she never learned to swim.
In 1952, Malina was driving a farm tractor with her three little girls on the back when Squeaky fell off and the tow trailer ran over her leg. It traumatized Malina so she never wanted a driver’s license.
In 1966, when her husband suffered a fatal blood clot she was only 46. She chose not to remarry and unselfishly finished raising her children in church teaching them to live happily and have positive lives. Although she felt a little inadequate with her Spanish accent, she did various jobs to generate income. But she never sought after a career because Malina’s claim to fame was her natural state of motherhood as her 5 children were the center of her universe. One thing that remained steadfast was her ability to impact and influence her entire family as a beaming light and Matriarch holding everything together, attending every family function, birthday party, new birth, and holiday celebration. She never liked to miss anything and loved to go places. She served her family faithfully giving unconditional love and compassion to all those blessed by her presence.
In 1978, Malina survived strangulation singlehandedly fighting off a deranged attacker who had killed two other widows. Her family sold her house downtown bought a mobile home and moved her to live beside her daughter Flora. As she aged first her daughter Myrna took her to live with her family for a while. Then in 2015 she moved in the home with Larry and Flora by her trailer with all her possessions. She always said I raised 5 children, so I know I will never be put in a nursing home. All of her children agreed caring for her, providing her needs and making sure she was never left alone. She always expressed appreciation and attributed her long life to the wonderful care they provided.
In 1996, she suffered tremendous grief when her granddaughter, Malina Price was killed by a drunk driver on her way home from church. She walked and later was pushed in her wheelchair participating in every annual MADD Walks to honor her first namesake. Her other 5 namesakes are Kristin Amalia Cunningham, Amalia Marie Rose Shaffer, Amanda Malina Winrow, Malina Elizabeth Stanley, and Malina Elizabeth Isensee. She was well honored by all these grandchildren bearing her name.
Her family describes her as a strong, independent, determined, spirited, yet humble woman of grace. She was complacent and agreeable, always in a good mood. That is why everyone loved her. She was a hard-working lady who enjoyed her garden putting to use her green thumb. For leisure she preferred playing rummy and dominos but also entertained herself by playing solitaire and doing crossword puzzles. She lived every stage of her life to the fullest making the best of any situation.
When asked her secret to living such a long life she would say “Don't worry, trust God".
And her favorite song was “One Day at a Time.”
She is preceded in death by her husband, James Robert Winrow who went to be with our Lord November 2, 1966, her loving parents, 2 brothers, 1sister, 1 granddaughter Malina Elizabeth Price-Bos, and 1 grandson Jason Ryan Whorton. She often said she didn’t want to die before she turned 100, but knew her loved ones would be waiting in Heaven to meet her.
She is survived by her children: Gloria Dee “Tutdi” (Richard) Tomlin, Myrna Ann “Squeaky” (Roy) Whorton, Flora May (Larry) Price, Anthony James “Tone” (Susan) Winrow, and Alba Delores "Kitty" Winrow.
She leaves behind a legacy of 60 family members consisting of 5 children, 13 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
Minnesota families of 3 sister-in-law’s: Peggy Hasbargen, Dorothy Anderson Hasbargen and Helen Molberg.
She was well known for love adopting family members who didn’t share the same blood but shared the same heart such as Pamela Lee, Alexandria Link, Timber McClure, Jose Cruz, Christopher Cruz, Lona Proctor and her life-long friend Jean Isensee and family to name a few.
Although she’ll be missed, the family is thankful that God gave her extra time to spend with them having lived 3 ½ months shy of turning 100. She will have a Heavenly 100th birthday celebration.
Her interment will be at Auburndale Memorial Park.
Services will be set at Victory Church at a later date.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Amalia Meteo-Reyes Winrow, please visit Tribute Store