Olga Guiomar (Gonzalez) Tafolla passed away peacefully surrounded by the loving voices of family in Tucson, Arizona on September 4, 2020. She would have been 98 on October 14, 2020.
She is preceded in death by her parents Eulalio and Adela Gonzalez, her sister Omega De La Zerda, and her husband of 59 years, Lott E. Tafolla.
Olga is survived by her daughters Linda Tafolla of Battle Creek, Michigan, Joyce Garcia of Tucson, Arizona, grandchildren Taffy (Edward) Bowerman of Galveston, Texas, Kim Crider of Houston, Texas, Clarissa Garcia, husband Brian Potter, of Memphis, Tennessee, Joel Garcia of Tucson, great-grandchildren Casey Bowerman, Deborah (Brian) Corral of Houston, Jackson Potter and Ella Potter of Memphis, Tennessee, cousins, nieces and nephews, Olga (Trevino) Garcia, A. Anthony De La Zerda, Yolanda De La Zerda.
Olga was just 19 when she married the love of her life, Lott E. Tafolla. Lott was inducted into the Army to serve in World War II. He went to California for training within days of their marriage and soon shipped out to go overseas. Lott made it home from the war. In gratitude Olga promised our loving Father she would always serve Him.
Olga and Lott were active members at La Trinidad in San Antonio,Texas. There, they brought up their daughters to know God’s love through the nurturing of that faith community. Olga taught kindergarten at the Wesley Community Center in the heart of the inner city in San Antonio. There began her passion for teaching kindergarten children. That experience deepened her love of children and led her to teach Sunday School kindergarten at every church where she was a member.
Olga loved the Lord, her church, and her family. She loved her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was often lovingly called “Aunt Olga by the many children who came into her life.
Olga’s passion for service grew as she became active with United Methodist Women at her church in Battle Creek, Michigan. She went on to be a leader in the Michigan Annual Conference. She was invited to be a Director on the National Board for United Methodist Women. In that capacity, she represented the church at home and abroad.
While in Tucson, Arizona, Olga developed a relationship between First Church Tucson and the sister church in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. One year, Olga asked the congregation at First Church if they would like to collect shoes for the children in Agua Prieta as a mission project for Christmas. The request was met with great enthusiasm and became a tradition at First Church for many years.
Olga worked closely with church leaders on border and Hispanic issues. The Michigan Annual Conference elected her as their delegate to the General Conference, the governing body for the denomination worldwide. As a member of the National Hispanic Latino Caucus, she was chosen to address the conference advocating for Hispanic issues. She worked tirelessly to bring attention to the many concerns of her Hispanic community.
Olga’s life was one of service to her home church and other churches in Latin America and the Caribbean. She often said she had hoped to serve as a missionary. Indeed, Olga Tafolla was a missionary. Her efforts were a part of positive changes in the life of the church. She responded to the Lord’s call saying: “Here am I, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 KJV)
“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Hebrew 13:1-2 (KJV)
Due to COVID-19, services will be held at a future date. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Bring’s Funeral Home, Tuscon, Arizona.
Condolences may be sent to:
Joyce Garcia (daughter)
2525 W. Calle Tonala
Tucson, AZ 85745