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Published: Thursday, 5/8/2014

Ramona Trujillo; 1937-2014; Teacher contributed to Latino community

Trujillo Trujillo

Ramona Trujillo, 77, for whom teaching was a career and a vocation, died Sunday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue.

She had Parkinson’s disease, her daughter, Amada, said. Kidney failure caused her to retire from teaching. She received a transplant about 14 years ago.

Mrs. Trujillo was a Spanish teacher at three Toledo high schools: Scott, DeVilbiss, and finally at Woodward. She liked to joke around, her daughter said, but was serious about the task at hand.

“She was a spitfire,” her daughter said, “and wouldn’t take any guff from anybody. She was a little stern, but she wouldn’t let anybody walk over her in class.”

Mrs. Trujillo couldn’t find a teaching job after she graduated from the University of Toledo, her daughter said. Instead, she became a case worker with Lucas County Children Services.

As a volunteer, though, Mrs. Trujillo taught English as a second language to students of diverse backgrounds through the International Institute of Greater Toledo and other agencies and groups. She also coached people preparing for citizenship or professional licenses.

For her work in the Latino community, she received a 2009 Diamante Award.

Mrs. Trujillo was a member of Unity United Methodist Church.

She was born Feb. 12, 1937, in Laredo, Texas, to Amada and Jose Del Rio. They were farm workers and traveled north to harvest crops. They settled in Erie, Mich., when Ramona was a girl. She was a graduate of Monroe High School. During a break from her studies at UT, she served in the Peace Corps and helped set up a school in a rural Guatemalan village.

Surviving are her husband, Jesus Arturo Trujillo, whom she married March 16, 1970; daughter, Amada Monica Esquivel; sisters, Alicia Kharsa, Mary Ortiz, and Enedina Del Rio; brother, Vicente Jose Del Rio, and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. today in the H.H. Birkenkamp Funeral Home, where services will be at 11 a.m. Friday. The family suggests tributes to Life Connection of Ohio in Maumee.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.

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