Maria Esther Ojeda, 48, of New Haven, loving wife and mother, passed away on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at Yale-New Haven Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer. A native of Ecuador, she moved to the United States in 1991 to studay at EF International Language Campus in Santa Barbara, California. While in the United States, she married the love of her life, Jimmy Ojeda, and moved to New Haven. Together they raised their two beloved sons, Erik and Alek. Maria was a talented chef who worked in the restaurant industry for many years. She first trained and worked at Ibiza in New Haven. She later owned her own restaurant, Sweetpea, in Cheshire. Her passion was making others happy, and she often accomplished this through her food. Nothing made Maria happier than cooking for friends and family. She lived life to the fullest through simple pleasures like spending time with her niece and nephews and chatting with friends and family. She was a talented artist who loved to paint and decorate, with her work often seen at the front window of Number One Fish Market in Hamden, her dad's store. Maria had an uncanny ability to connect to people in a deep and positive way. Maria is survived by her husband Jimmy and two sons, Erik and Alek of New Haven, her mother Tura and "dad" Bob McNeil of Wallingford, sister Rafaela Mangino and her spouse Joseph of North Haven, brother-in-law Fitzgerald Ojeda and spouse Adriana of Bristol, sister-in-law Debbie Rossetter and spouse Mike of Lake Whales, FL father-in-law Wilson Ojeda of Lake Whales, and her niece and nephews, Alejandro Ojeda of Bristol, Luciana Mangino and Salvatore Mangino of North Haven. She was predeceased by her father, Luís Alfredo Aláva Zambrano. Maria's family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, September 16th from 5;00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Washington Memorial Funeral Home, 4 Washington Ave., North Haven. Her funeral procession will leave the funeral home on Saturday, September 17th at 9:30 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. in Most Holy Trinity Church, 84 N. Colony St., Wallingford. Entombment will follow in the mausoleum at All Saints Cemetery, 700 Middletown Ave., North Haven. www.washingtonmemorialfh.com
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