Elena (deCubas) De Rojas, 92, of Mountain Top, entered into eternal rest on Monday, September 23, 2019, surrounded by her loving family, at the Smith Health Care Facility, Mountain Top.
Elena was born in Havana, Cuba on January 14, 1927 to Dr. Jose Luis and Luisa (Sanchez) de Cubas. She attended Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes Elementary School, St. George Prep School, Balder High School and Ariel School. She studied college in the United States at Mount St. Vincent on the Hudson in the State of New York. Having completed her studies, Elena returned to Cuba and was a teacher at a private Catholic school. Merici Academy, in Havana. Elena married her beloved husband, Dr. Juan F. DeRojas on June 11, 1950. They have five children, all born in Cuba.
Due to the change in the political situation to a Communist government, Elena and her husband decided to escape from Cuba to provide a better life for their children in a free country, the United States of America. Her husband left the country in June, 1961, with a two week permit during which time he planned the escape for Elena and their five children. Two weeks later, Elena and their five children, and only one suitcase, arrived on a ferry boat at West Palm Beach, Fla., where her husband was anxiously waiting for them. They left everything behind in Cuba to start a new life in this country and became U.S citizens a few years later. Elena and her family lived in Miami, Florida for a few months and then moved to Hot Springs, South Dakota in November of 1961, as her husband was employed as a staff surgeon in the V.A. Hospital. In August of 1965, they moved to Mountain Top, Pa., where her husband was appointed to the Wilkes-Barre V.A. Medical Center as staff surgeon and later Chief of Surgery. Shortly after arriving in Mountain Top, Elena was hired by St. Jude School as a teacher, a vocation she truly enjoyed until her retirement in 1980.
Elena truly loved being with her family and friends. She had a gift of making others feel special and her incredible witty sense of humor brought such joy and laughter to others. She enjoyed traveling in the U.S and Europe, (treasuring the yearly family beach vacations), sewing, music, dancing, (her swan ballet dance for family and friends will not be forgotten!), cooking (favorites were her arroz con pollo, paella, frijoles negros) and making delicious Sunday and holiday dinners for her family, a tradition that was treasured by often 40 plus family members. She savored eating chocolates daily. Elena was a member of St. Jude Roman Catholic Church and was involved in many church and community activities. She was a very loving, compassionate, loyal, determined and dedicated wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend. Elena and Juan raised their children with unconditional love and total dedication.
Elena is survived by her loving husband of 69 glorious years, Dr. Juan F. DeRojas with whom she lived an inspirational love story. Their five children are: daughter Elena Eichorn of Mountain Top; daughter Betty Waskevich and husband Ed of Kingston; son Dr. Juan J. DeRojas of Dallas; daughter Maria Eliana Glenn and husband Jim of Mountain Top; daughter Maria Luisa Moulton and husband Kevin of Mountain Top; 16 grandchildren: Mia Preston, Charlie Eichorn and his wife Maria, Brian Eichorn, Anthony Waskevich and his wife Anna, Tom Waskevich and his wife Maura, Alma De Rojas, Juan Carlos DeRojas, Michael DeRojas, Chris DeRojas, Patrick DeRojas, JT Glenn and his wife Kelsey, Christina Masteller and her husband TJ, Fr. Ryan Glenn, Michael Glenn and his wife Lianne, Kevin Moulton, Robert Moulton and his wife Gianna. Their greatgrandchildren are: Luke, Anastasia, Mason, Mallayah, Katerina, Eliana, JR, Gavin, and Jude. Elena is also survived by her dear brother Jorge de Cubas, Key Biscayne, Fla. and many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
The DeRojas family would like to thank the staff of Smith Health Care for their kindness and loving care of Elena for the last 2 1/2 years. They also would like to thank the staff of Sacred Heart Hospice for their compassionate care in her last weeks.
Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, from Desiderio- Lehman Funeral Home, Mountain Top, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 10:00 a.m. in St. Jude's Church, Mountain Top. The principal celebrant will be her grandson, Rev. Ryan Glenn. Burial will be in Cavalry Cemetery, Drums.
Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am until time of service at Desiderio Lehman Funeral Home, Mountain Top.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude 's Church.