Maria Elena Ycaza

On January 29, 2017, at the age of 93, Maria Elena Ycaza passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. Maria, also known as "Bita", was a true survivor. She had grace and elegance unlike any other. When she walked into a room, it would light up with her presence and of course, that twinkle in her eye. She loved to charm, laugh, dance and tell hilarious stories. After losing the love of her life at a young age, she went on to become a seamstress and created her own label. She had an amazing eye for fashion and made some of the most beautiful gowns and various wardrobes for her clients. Her other favorite pastime was entertaining. People loved to be in Bita's company as she had this ability to make everyone laugh and feel so loved. One month before she died, she got up and danced to her favorite song, singing all of the words. While she will be sorely missed, her beautiful spirit will live on forever. Born in Ecuador on May 7, 1923 to the late Josefina Rivas Heinert and Leonardo Heinert, Maria moved to New Orleans at the age of 32. She was preceded in death by her husband and love of her life, Octavio 'Pepe' Ycaza and two children, Gabriel Ycaza and Maria Elena Haylock-Holden. She is survived by her children, Guadalupe 'Lupe' Creech (Oscar 'Bud'), Oscar Ycaza and Susana Beckham (Launey); her grandchildren, Alicia Creech Andry (Gibby), Liana Creech Drouilhet (the late Dr. John Charles), Oscar 'Oskie' Creech, Walker Creech, Chris, Courtney, Craig, Octavio, Maria Paula and Oscar Ycaza, Robert Haylock (Sandra), Kristina McKee Metzgar (Ben), Susana McKee Wattigney and Jaime McKee Manale (Nick), Gabriel Shirley and Roberto Ycaza (Eliana). She is also survived by 18 great- grandchildren, 2 grandchildren by marriage, 4 great-grandchildren by marriage and all of her loving nieces and nephews.

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