Miguela Sierra Molina
Miguela “Mickey” T. Sierra Molina
Miguela “Mickey” T. Sierra Molina of East Moline, IL, was called home to Our Lord on Monday, February 06, 2017, surrounded by her beloved family. Funeral services will be 11:00 am Friday at St. Anne Catholic Church, East Moline, where her nephew, Fr. Angel Sierra will officiate. Visitation will be 3:00 – 7:00 pm Thursday at Van Hoe Funeral Home, where a rosary will be recited at 6:30 pm.
Miguela was born on May 8, 1923 in a boxcar located in the Silvis railroad yards. She was the daughter of Simon and Maria Terronez Sierra. She graduated from the former St. Anne School, United Township High School, and completed her nursing studies at St. Anthony’s School of Nursing where she graduated in 1945. Miguela had the distinction of being the first American of Mexican descent to graduate from St. Anthony’s School of Nursing, as well as being the first American woman of Mexican descent registered nurse in Rock Island County.
Miguela’s nursing career spanned a wide range of nursing and administrative positions. Upon graduation Miguela spent fifteen years working at St. Anthony’s where in addition to nursing duties, she baptized babies before they became angels and was instrumental in matching orphaned babies with American families of Mexican descent. As a nurse working for Rock Island County, she worked in rural communities, primarily with migrant farm workers and their families. Spanish-speaking farm workers were so grateful to have a nurse that understood their language and culture that Miguela was invited to be the God Mother of dozens of children, some of whom have reestablished contact as adults. Miguela was a nurse for the Visconi Boxing Club and she worked passionately to expand mental health services and centers in the area. Miguela retired from her nursing career from the East Moline Correctional Facility in 1990.
Miguela’s love for family and community shaped the person she came to be. As a long-time member of St. Anne Church, practicing her faith was a priority. She assisted for many years in the Mexican fiestas held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Silvis. She made most of the costumes used by those dancing traditional Mexican dances, and always ensured the program was a success. At St. Anne she made the costumes for the Virgin de Guadalupe Celebration, and made sure there were printed copies of the songs that were supposed to be sung. Miguela had a profound love and respect for her Mexican heritage and culture, values she sought to instill in her large family. To make sure the following generations would never forget the traditions; Miguela always had a camera to take pictures or a video of many of the family celebrations that took place over her lifetime. She leaves behind dozens of photo albums and VHS tapes.
Miguela created a special bond with her grandchildren. Many of her family’s favorite memories are connected to the traditions she carried forward from her family. Mexican holidays, music, dancing, food and posadas are all a part of her legacy. In an extended family of hundreds, she was known affectionately as “old grandma” or “Aunt Mic”. In her final years she enjoyed seeing her family grow and flourish.
Survivors include her son, Jesus Gregory Ledezma; daughter, Angela Molina; daughter-in-law Karen Ledezma; granddaughters, Kimberlee Ledezma (Monica German), Sara (Kayla) Yocum-Ledezma, Anastasia (Richard) Glancey, Michaeline Segura; grandson, Randy (Melissa) Ledezma; great grandchildren, Zachary, Jeremy, Anthony, Rudy, Courtney (Seth), Taner, Michael John, Miguela, Matthew and Lola; and great-great grandchild Leilani; her half brothers, Phillipe Gonzales, Ruben (Laura) Sierra, Nasario (Laura) Sierra, and Richard Hector Sierra; half sister, Sebastiana (Gary) Freiburg; her sister-in-law Lucha Sierra.
She was preceded in death by her parents Simon and Maria; step-mother Juana; sisters Luisa and Andrea; brothers Cruz, Emanuel, Louis (Teresa), John (Adela), Camille (Rose), Julien (Kathleen), Amador (Jessie), Adrian and Francisco and grandson, Tyler Ledezma.
A special thanks to Dr. Kukhar and her staff, Dr. Constantinou, John Ramsey from Alternatives for Aging Adults, Genesis Visiting Nurses, and Trinity Hospice.
In lieu of flowers and gifts memorials may be made to the family.