Flor Maria Piñeiro
July 4, 1922 – July 11, 2016
Born the daughter of Don Vicente Piñeiro and Dina Concepcion Ocasio, Flor Maria Piñeiro passed away at the age of 94 on July 11, 2016. Flor was a mother of three children, the wife of Juan Marcos Rivera Santiago, a librarian, a social worker, an educator, a children’s author, and a missionary.
Flor grew up in Ciales, Puerto Rico in the Evangelical Church of Ciales, which originally was part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and later became a Disciples of Christ of Puerto Rico congregation.
Graduating from high school in 1939, Flor Maria began university at the Universidad de Puerto Rico in 1935, completing a general program diploma in 1941. She then continued her education by receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Education with a major in English and an Elementary Education minor from the Universidad de Puerto Rico Rio Piedras in 1945. She then received her Master’s degree in social work from Columbia University in New York in 1947, and later received a Master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky in 1968.
Flor Maria married Juan Marcos Rivera Santiago on August 11, 1951. She served as President of the Disciples of Christ Women of Puerto Rico in the period 1954-1956.
In 1959 until 1962 Flor Maria and Juan Marcos served with the United Christian Missionary Society, a Global Ministries predecessor body, appointed to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Paraguay. She continued her missionary service with Juan Marcos in Venezuela until 1972, serving with the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela. In both places Flor specialized in education.
From there, Flor Maria and Juan Marcos went on to Puerto Rico where she served as mission personnel from 1972 through 1984. In Puerto Rico she assisted the Latin America Council of Churches in its early years in document translations, bibliographic development, and correspondence.
Flor was an excellent writer, and her special interest was in children’s literature. With Isabel Freire de Matos, she published Literatura Infantil Caribena: Puerto Rico, Republica Dominicana y Cuba (Caribbean Children’s Literature: Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba) in 1983, and in 1989 she published Arthur Alfonso Schomburg: A Puerto Rican Quest for his Black Heritage.
Flor is survived by three daughters, Mirta, Priscila, and Grace, and also by her grandchildren.
Memorial services were held in Rio Piedras on July 12, 2016, and in Bayamon on July 13 when she was laid to rest next to her husband in the National Cemetery in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Condolences may be sent to Reverend Justino Perez, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Villa Las Lomas, Villa las Lomas, Post Office Box 360059, San Juan, PR 000936 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.