The families and friends of Andrea Moyotl, 77, and her daughter Rosa Cuanetl, 57, created a memorial of flowers and candles for the two women in their Montgomery home after they died in a head-on collision late on Oct. 13. | Kalyn Belsha~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 22, 2013 6:22AM
MONTGOMERY — The living room of Andrea Moyotl, 77, and her daughter Rosa Cuanetl, 57, is filled with roses and white candles. The Virgin of Guadalupe, an important religious figure for Mexican Catholics, looks down protectively over their photos.
All week, Moyotl and Cuanetl’s family members and friends have come to pay their respects at the mother and daughter’s Montgomery home. The two were killed Oct. 13 in a head-on car crash that injured five of their family members and killed another driver.
It’s almost fitting, family members say, that the mother and daughter — her first born — who were so close in life, were killed in the same accident.
“At the same time we’re sad, but we’re happy, because the two of them were always together,” said Cristina Cuanetl, the sister of Rosa Cuanetl and daughter of Moyotl. “They were like inseparable friends.”
The crash happened just before midnight near Broadway and Hazel Avenue in Aurora.
According to a police report, Oscar Rodriguez, 28, of Aurora, was heading north on Broadway when he entered the southbound lane, striking the mini-van of Moyotl, Cuanetl and their family members. Rodriguez also was killed in the crash.
Police have yet to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor.
The night of the crash, Moyotl and Cuanetl were coming home from dinner with another of Moyotl’s daughters, after taking Rosa Cuanetl’s two children and three grandchildren to a local fair.
Moyotl grew up in Puebla, an east-central state of Mexico, in Cholula, a city known for its numerous churches and historic pyramid. There, she owned a business selling tortillas that she ground the corn for herself.
Conservative, organized and deeply religious, Moyotl had eight children, 32 grandchildren and 52 great-grandchildren — all of whom she strived to treat with the same love and care, family said.
She made her family laugh with her jokes and she enjoyed when the large family got together for holidays and events.
“She always did everything for us and her grandchildren,” her daughter Cristina Cuanetl said.
“There was no distinction between us,” her son David Cuanetl agreed. “She loved everyone.”
On Moyotl’s birthday the whole family would get together, but the gathering was so large that they couldn’t hold it in a family member’s home. Last year they rented out La Sierra de Aurora, a banquet hall on Aurora’s East Side, to throw a party attended by 300 to 400 people.
Moyotl’s son, Felipe Cuanetl, said his mother’s birthday is Nov. 28, but every year they celebrated it on Nov. 30, the day she insisted she was actually born.
“She was stubborn, in a good way,” Cuanetl said. “There was no way to argue, because she would win.”
Rosa Cuanetl, a mother of three and grandmother of eight, loved to dance at parties and to garden, her family said. If her home lacked flowers, she’d go out in the yard to cut some. Like her name, she loved roses.
A hard worker, Cuanetl made tortillas in the kitchen of Tecalitlan, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Aurora, and was known to whip up whatever meal someone wanted, even if she’d already made dinner.
“She took care of us like a second mother,” her brother David Cuanetl said.
“She helped everyone,” her daughter, Jacoba, added. “She supported us. She’d always tell us to push forward. She loved us so much.”
Three of Moyotl and Cuanetl’s relatives are still in the hospital after the car crash.
The driver of the family’s mini-van and Cuanetl’s daughter, Juanita, 17, remains in intensive care at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. The East Aurora High School senior injured her legs, elbow and ankle, family said, and is awaiting surgery.
Cuanetl’s son, Gerardo, 40, is in intensive care at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, after receiving surgery on his hands and leg.
His 10-year-old son and Cuanetl’s grandson, Edwin, a Rollins Elementary student, also is in intensive care at Rush-Copley.
Cuanetl’s two other grandsons, Gerry, 12, who attends Simmons Middle, and Henry, 9, who attends Rollins Elementary, have been released from the hospital.
The family is collecting donations to help pay for the hospital bills and funeral services. Donations can be made at Chase Bank, account number 3600922017. Donations also are being gathered at www.youcaring.com/cuanetl, which requires a PayPal account.
Moyotl is survived by six children — Norberto, Cristina, David, Rufina, Felipe and Pascuala Cuanetl — as well as 84 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Rosa Cuanetl is survived by three children — Gerardo, Jacoba and Juanita — and eight grandchildren.
A wake will be held for Moyotl and Cuanetl on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at James Funeral Services, located at 204 Hill Ave. in Aurora. Burial services will be held at the same location Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.