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Maria "Zena"'s Story

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Maria “Zena” Elizena Portela, 82, of Beverly, died peacefully Friday morning at Union Hospital in Lynn following a brief illness. She was the devoted wife of Celestino “Tino” Portela, sharing 65 years of marriage.
Born in Mangualde, Portugal, she was the daughter of the late Antonio and Jacinta (Albergaria) Jorge. She was raised and educated in Portugal, she then immigrated to the United States in 1967 where she lived in Peabody. Upon her retirement in 1984 she moved back to Portugal until settling in Beverly for the last five years.
Maria was employed by Webster Industries in Peabody and later by Parker Brothers in Salem until her retirement in 1984. She looked forward to her Fridays with her sister playing bingo at the Torigian Center. Zena loved all holidays spent with family, especially the Fourth of July as she was so proud to be an American citizen. By far the most important part of her life was her family.
In addition to her loving husband of 65 years, she is survived by her two daughters, Lisdalia Silva and Maria Mello; her two sons-in-law, Joseph H. Silva and Jack Mello; her sister, Maria Emilia Carva and her husband, Alberto; her beloved three grandchildren, Stacey and her husband, Richard Boccelli, Sarah and her Michael Arcangelo, and Andrew Mello; as well as by several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her two brothers, Jose and Fernando Jorge.
Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday from 9 until 11 a.m. at the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St, Peabody immediately followed by her Funeral Mass at St. Ann’s Church, Lynn Street, Peabody, to which relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Salem. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the fire victims of Portugal at www.cruzvernelha.pt or to the American Lung Association, 460 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA 02451-1991. For directions and online obituary, visit www.ccbfuneral.com.
Published on  November 13, 2017
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