Sandra and her mother, Elvira Cisneros
© Copyright 2011 Diana Solis
Chicago, November 1, 2007 -- Elvira "Vera" Cisneros (nee Cordero Anguiano) crossed over into death this morning. She was 78 years old. Her parents Joseph Cordero and Felicia Anguiano fled the Mexican revolution from Silao, Guanajuato, following work on the railroad, settling in Flagstaff, Kansas City, and finally Chicago where Vera was born in the St. Francis parish, near Hull House, along with siblings Joseph, Guadalupe, Eulalia, Manuel, Thomasina, Margaret, and Efrain.
After WWII, Vera married Private Alfredo Cisneros, originally of Mexico City, creating a family that includes Alfred Junior (Julieta), Henry (Elizabeth), Sandra, Carlos (Lisa), Arturo (Silvia), Mario, and Armando (Carmen)--(daughter Carolina died as an infant.) and 11 grandchildren Aleksandra, Alfred Jr., Alain, Alonso, Paolo, Alexander, Arturo, Lupita, Javier, Isabella and Robert.
While single and laboring in factories, Vera dreamed of a creative life. Her love of the Chicago Public Library, museums, and public concerts was instilled to all her children who were able to rise from humble roots to become a doctor, an artist, an author, a musician, a geologist, and business owners. She channeled her own artistry into her garden. Extraordinarily intelligent, she was a self-made woman whose political insights could challenge and terrify any alderman or preacher. She never finished the ninth grade but favorite mentors were Noam Chomsky and Studs Terkel.
Elvira Cisneros is survived by sister Margaret Cordero Lopez and family, sister-in-law Margaret Herrera Cordero and family, the families of sisters Thomasina Cordero Alcala and Guadalupe Cordero Cabrera, the Cisneros family of Chicago and Mexico, and, especially, her own seven children, five daughters-in-law and eleven grandchildren.
She will be buried at St. Mary Cementary in Chicago.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Elvira Cordero Cisneros Scholarship Fund
c/o The Macondo Foundation
P.O. Box 831046
San Antonio, TX 78283.