(February 3, 2011)--- Mayor Pedro E. Segarra will pay his respects to the family of Maria B. Gonzalez, a former Hartford City Councilwoman, educator and community leader, who died on January 28th at the age of 72.
Calling hours begin at 4:00 p.m. today at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, 79 New Park Avenue, in the City's Parkville neighborhood. On Friday, the Mayor will attend and speak at her funeral at 10:00 a.m. That service will also be at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish.
"Maria touched the hearts of so many people. Whether it was through bilingual education, or serving as Chairperson of the Housing Committee, she always worked hard to improve the quality of life for Hartford families. Maria's appetite for civic engagement was infectious. She was a personal inspiration for me as I entered life in public service. She was a dear friend and I am forever in her debt," said Mayor Segarra.
Born on July 23, 1938 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Gonzalez came to Hartford in 1974 to work as a teacher. For much of her 30-year career, she taught in the Hartford Public School System.
In 2008, The Permanent Commission on the Status of Hartford Women recognized Mrs. Gonzalez at the "Honoring Women Beating the Odds: Above and Beyond" event. She received numerous other awards including the YWCA Leadership Award, the City of Hartford's Community Star Award, and the 2007 Latino de Oro Award from Identidad Latina for her contributions to education in her community.
She was involved in numerous voter registration drives emphasizing the importance of voting for women and she continued to be active until her last days thanks to her enthusiastic involvement in politics.