Beatriz Cañedo Velez was the definition of a strong woman. A proud mother, her life's work and pride were her children.
As a young woman, she won singing contests and beauty pagents back home in the Philippines, which she bragged about not because of herself, but because of how proud her parents were when they watched her on the stage at all of her performances. She graduated from Colegio San Jose Recoletos with a degree in accounting, before moving to Chicago, and marrying her husband of 33 years.
"You always have to smile and laugh, because that is the only thing that will cure your illness."
Beatriz loved the simple things in life. Whether it was playing a bubble game on her phone, crocheting a scarf, watching a Marvel movie, or eating Popeyes chicken, she made the little things into an event. She touched so many lives, both in the Philippines and in America. As a young woman, she took care of her father when he became ill until he passed from sclerosis of the liver. She was so proud of her work at Loyola, helping prepare surgeons with the equipment they needed to save lives, and she wished she could have done that every day, but her sickness intervened. But it didn't stop her from working. Even when she was in the dialysis center, on her own treatment, she brought people hope. She believed fiercely that smiling, that friendliness and laughter were medicine, and that strength helped so many get through their days. She loved fiercely, and never quit. Even in the last few months of her life, no matter how difficult their marriage had been, she took care of her husband when he was diagnosed with cancer. She made sure he was taking his medication, and cooked for him, doing dishes even after she fell and broke her arm, no matter how much her kids tried to stop her, and do things for her. She was determined to be independent. She refused walkers, wheelchairs. If you didn't know she was sick, you would never have guessed how much she was suffering.
Whether you knew her for 20 minutes or 60 years, she made a lasting impression on anyone she met.
Once she let you into her trust, you were there for good. She was fiercely independent, stubborn to a fault, but this was the strength that made her come through twelve years of dialysis, something most people survive five to seven years, at most. It never stopped her from doing what she loved. She never missed a treatment, no matter how bad she felt. No matter how hard things got, how little money she had, she made sure to instill a sense of responsibility, kindness, and love into her children. She passed her love of cooking, music, dancing, and art down. She put family and god above herself, always.
While she fought her disease for twelve years, her death came suddenly, and we need help giving her the service and burial she deserves.
While she would have wanted to be sent home to the Philippines to be buried next to her family, we can't make that happen for her yet. She was a devout Catholic, and we want to give her the mass that she would have wanted at her church. These costs would cover the wake and everything associated with caring for her body and remains, and a beautiful resting place for her near the neighborhood she lived, close to the church, and the people she loved, in the place she lived for over thirty years.
Anything you can do to help her rest would help the family emmensely. She is survived by her children, who are young and still getting stable, and her husband, who is fighting stage four cancer.
Here are the details for any planning and travel needs:
Wake: Tuesday, August 29, 4:30pm-9pm
Alvarez Funeral Home, 2500 N. Cicero, Chicago, IL
Service: Wednesday, August 30, 10am
Our Lady of Mercy Parish Church, 4432 N. Troy, Chicago, IL
Burial: Wednesday, August 30, following the service.
Montrose Cemetery, 5400 N. Pulaski, Chicago, IL
All funds will go to her son, Jeffrey Velez, who is handling the arrangements.
- Susan Nash
- Charlie Schneider
- Jeff and Sharyn Gutierrez
- Stephanie Ong
- Family And Friends At The Visitation