Maria Octaviano-Matildes, Maricarmen’s mother, said her daughter, who came to the United States when she was seven years old, lived her life at light speed with a passion and ferocity that couldn’t be put into words.
“For the time that she was here she did so much compared to other people,” Maria said to a translator. “Now I see that she was always on the move doing something or going somewhere. It seemed like she lived life as if time were to beat her. She was fearless since a young age.”
Maricarmen’s diligence also characterized her academic life. Her father, Tomas Quiroz, remembers her as a smart, talented student who was always at the top of her class.
“Since I can remember, my Maricarmen was a little girl that was very talented in school,” Tomas said. “When she was in kindergarten, there was this competition which many schools participated in and she was one of the kids to finish at the top.”
Maricarmen’s love for academics and school activities only continued to grow as she matured. Not only was Maricarmen passionate about her studies, but she had a profound love for sports. Tomas said when she was in school in the Austin area, Maricarmen was always one of the first students to arrive and one of the last ones to leave.
“Aside from studying she liked to do a lot of other things,” Tomas said. “Sports was one of those things. She loved to watch ‘La Lucha Libre,’ which is the Mexican form of wrestling. She liked to play soccer, volleyball and was always involved in sporting events. Almost every day after school we would have to pick her up almost at dusk because she would always stay late for practice or any other school activity.”
Tomas said he will always remember his daughter as a determined person who was always happy and smiling.
“Every time she would set her mind to do something, she would do it at 100 percent,” Tomas said. “She would give her all to everything she would do and that’s what I’m going to take from her time here with us. She was very enthusiastic and was always smiling huge, just with her personality and everything.”
A genetics senior, Maricarmen hoped to help as many people as she could through her profession. She tried to do so while living in the College Station area by often spending her time as a volunteer at a local nursing home and other places doing community service.
Maricarmen, a first-generation Aggie, would often speak to her parents about her time in College Station. Her father said she would always talk in great detail and with a lot of pride about the great friendships and traditions she was able to be a part of as an Aggie.
“She’d always talk to us about the university and about College Station,” Tomas said. “She’d tell us about all of her friendships and how much she loved the school and being an Aggie.”
Despite her rigorous school and work schedule, Maricarmen’s father said she always made sure to make time to call her family while she was away and gave them her undivided attention when she’d go back home to visit.
“With our family she always got along with everyone,” Tomas said. “When she would come home she’d always take her six-year-old sister out with her no matter where she went. She’d always call her grandparents and lately she had been calling them a lot. She had a beautiful relationship with the entire family.”
For Maricarmen’s parents, the biggest thing they take from her life is what impact she made during her short time on Earth. They said there is nothing but pride and gratitude in their hearts from having had the privilege to know and raise such a loving and caring woman.
“We’re proud of the person she was,” Tomas said. “We’re proud of what she accomplished and what she planned to do with the rest of her life. Despite her young age, she did a lot that made us proud.”
Puede encontrar la versión en Español de este artículo aquí.