Maria Paula "Paulita" Duarte Ruelas, 72

Maria Paula "Paulita” Duarte Ruelas passed on peacefully at University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ on Friday, February 2 at the age of 72 surrounded by her family. Paulita was a loving wife, mother, Nana, sister, tía and friend. She was the eldest of nine children born to Jesus and Octaviana Ruelas on July 29, 1945.

Paulita is survived by her loving mother, Octaviana Ruelas of Douglas, AZ. Her husband of 50 plus years, Amado, her four children Jesus “Chuey” (Joanie), Pablo (Pamela), Laura and Jose (Tanya), 14 nietos Kathleen, Michelle, Dominique, Joseph, Fausto, Ashley, Carlee, Alex, Makenzie, Robert, Pammy, Gehrig, Pablito and Diego. Siblings: Eva (Moses) Melendez, Douglas, Carmen (Sergio) Moran, Lourdes Ruelas, Graciela (Carlos) Moran, all of Phoenix, Antonio (Alejandra) Ruelas, Agua Prieta, Martin (Mara) Ruelas, Phoenix. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews that always referred to her as their Mami Pali.

Paulita is preceded in death by her father Jesus H. Ruelas and sisters Adelina Unzueta and Josefina Ruelas.

Paulita was very proud to have been the first librarian in Agua Prieta. She loved making floral arrangements for weddings and quinceañeras and even had her own flower shop in the early 80’s. Paulita was a dedicated worker at several factories in Douglas including Billy the Kid and White Knight where she was a quality control manager.

Paulita’s biggest pride and joy was always her family. She was our biggest fan and anytime one of us had a ceremony, graduation, concert or sporting event she was always the number one supporter. Her love for family was her driving force also making sure that there was no discord between any of us. Always a mediator to siblings, kids and grandchildren.

Paulita was devout Catholic bringing up her children in the faith. She went through a cursillo in Tucson in 1967. Mom made sure that her children and grandchildren received their holy sacraments.

Nana’s kitchen was the place to be. Whether it was the morning huevitos with beans and bacon, the bean chimichangas, tostadas or tacos, we never went hungry with Nana’s cooking. And it did not matter the time of day or night, Nana’s kitchen was always open for all.

A Holy Rosary will be recited on Thursday, February 8 at 7:00pm at Immaculate Conception Church in Douglas. A funeral mass is scheduled for Friday, February 9 at 10:30am with Father Armando officiating. Also at Immaculate Church. Burial services will follow the mass at Calvary Cemetery. A reception to follow at the Douglas Visitor Center. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Paulita’s life.

The family would like to thank the staff of Banner UMC ICU for their professionalism, care and dedication shown to Paulita and the family during these times. May God bless you all, Familia Duarte.