Olga Anchumbia had a lovely way about her. She was kind, positive and always ready with a smile, even in tough situations. Her daughter said she also had a fighting spirit that she'll never forget. Both were hospitalized with the coronavirus.
“She was just great. Just a great, great, mom,” said Grace Ortiz, daughter of Anchumbia.
Grace Ortiz was recovering from the virus when her mother was rushed to the ER at Mount Sinai Hospital. Doctors arranged for the two of them to be in the same room.
“I was able to spend with my mom three days. In those three days she looked like she was improving. Then, after that I was discharged and my mom started going downhill from there,” she said.
Anchumbia died a few days after celebrating her 80th birthday.
“I was with her that day because I begged her doctor, please let me see her and because I already had the coronavirus they allowed me. I spent from 10 a.m. all the way to 10:30 p.m. and as I came home she passed away about an hour and an half later. She fought. She fought really hard,” said Ortiz.
Anchumbia was a mother of four. She emigrated to the U.S. from Ecuador when she was 24 to make a new life for herself. She worked at a factory making lamps until she met Samuel Feliciano, and together they opened the Yauco Coffee Shop at 119th Street and Lexington Avenue in Spanish Harlem. They ran it for 17 years.
“Anybody who came in she treated like family,” said Ortiz.
Anchumbia retired in the 1990's after a minor stroke, giving her more time to enjoy life and her family, which included nine grandchildren. She loved playing dominoes and scratch off games, which was her favorite thing to do right up until the very end. She scratched her last set of lottery tickets on her birthday at the hospital. A gift from her family.