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1929 Carmen 2023

Carmen Montalvo

November 10, 1929 — July 24, 2023



Carmen Montalvo

Carmen “Mela” Evalina (Vargas) Montalvo, age 93, died peacefully while at in-home hospice in Mechanicsburg, PA from complications of Dementia on July 24, 2023. She was the widow of Heriberto “Irmo” Montalvo. Carmen was born in Llanos La Tuna, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico on November 10, 1929 to Dolores “Lola” and Jose “Paco” Eustaquio Vargas. She was the second daughter of five; preceded in death by Ilia and Iris, and survived by Margarita, and Gloria. She is also survived by a half-brother, Willy Vargas.

In the early 1950s Carmen left Puerto Rico on Pan American Airlines for New York City. Here she worked in the garment district hemming handkerchiefs. Carmen learned to speak, read, and write English during this time.

Not much time passed until she met the man who was to become her husband, Heriberto. They married on November 17, 1954 and spent over 50 years together until his death in 2007. Carmen worked with Heriberto in his bodega and she also managed his laundromat business.

More business ownerships were to come in which she helped, but less and less when they started a family. November of 1955, their first child, a daughter, Maureen was born. Later in 1958, they would have a son, Herbert “Herbie”.

After the death of Heriberto, Carmen moved to Pennsylvania to live with her daughter, Maureen (Montalvo) Pinzon and to be closer to her grandchildren.

She loved celebrating special occasions with Puerto Rican recipes, music, and dancing. Flowers were her passion; Carmen was inspired by their beauty. She delighted in the company of her friends, a particularly devoted one was Lydia Aponte, who was always up for a good time and laughed at Carmen’s way of speaking her mind without any filters. She had two nieces that had a special place in her heart, Martha Montalvo and Shirley Torres. Carmen’s sisters, Margarita and Gloria, were her jewels, priceless gems. She had neighbors that she considered family, Tahera Lukmanji and her daughter, Sophia, and Richie and Diana Davis.

Her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren, Christina “Tina” Maureen (Pinzon) Magruder, Eric Jonathan Montalvo, Kirstin Maria Megan Pinzon, and Dimas “DJ” Pinzon, III. And she adored her 7 great grandchildren. Truly, family was her life.

A private gathering of family and friends on Monday, July 31, 2023 at 1:00pm will be held at Frederick W. Loescher Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Rockland County, NY, 220 Brick Church Road, New Hempstead, NY 10977.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in memory of Carmen E. Montalvo to: or

Carmen’s family has entrusted her care to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Carmen’s full obituary, view photograph, offer condolences and sympathy, share stories and memories, upload photographs and videos, light a candle and sign her official guest book by visiting

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Private Burial

Frederick W. Loescher Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Rockland County, NY, 220 Brick Church Road, New Hempstead, NY

220 Brick Church Road, Spring Valley, NY 10977

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