Antonia L. Lanuza, the daughter of a wealthy Guatemalan couple who followed her children and settled in New York more than three decades ago, died of heart failure Sunday at St. John's Hospital in Far Rockaway, Queens.
She was 81.
Lanuza's parents were enterprising business owners. Her father, Hilario Pivaral, made his fortune as a carpenter and property owner; her mother, Maria Magdelena Herrera Diaz, ran a small candy store in front of her Guatemala City home and sold indigenous tapestries made by local artisans.
As a young entrepreneur, Lanuza set up shop alongside her mother's tapestry business, focusing on dairy products and fruits.
She had four children, each of whom left the country for North American cities. In 1980, she followed her three grown daughters to New York City, where she became a homemaker in Far Rockaway.
"She was a strong woman who never gave up and she [passed] that virtue on to each and every one of us," said her eldest daughter, Maria Figueroa of Far Rockaway. "She was a warrior, an example for all us, and we're going to miss her dearly."
Survivors include two other daughters, Sylvana Santizo and Susana Salazar, both of Inwood; a son, Oscar Lanuza, of Montreal; two brothers, Oscar Pivaral, of LaPlace, Louisiana, and Domingo Pivaral, of Guatemala City; three sisters, Susana Cabrera, Amparo Cabrera and Rosario Juarez, all of Guatemala City; 14 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. at Meserole Funeral Home, 143 Lord Ave., Inwood. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Gertrude's Church in Far Rockaway.