Zoilita Mojica, of blessed memory, passed peacefully in the early morning hours of June 8th , surrounded as she was throughout her life, by her family and loved ones. Known to her closest friends and family as “Mamita,” Zoila Diaz de Mojica was born in Colombia on June 29,, 1920 and grew up surrounded by vibrant characters, vivid colors and the verdant beauty of nature that informed and inspired her brilliant paintings later in life.
Whether those paintings depict sunlight dancing on Orchids, Hibiscus and Lilies; a certain white house of some repute (which now resides in the Barack Obama collection); the face of an eccentric, Garcia-Marquez-esque local character, recorded in the memory of a four-year old girl and eight decades later on canvas; or a self-portrait of that young girl running gleefully through a field, Zoilita Mojica’s art work radiates the warmth, the joy and the love of the artist herself.
Every bit the matriarch – or more fittingly the “Mamita”—of the extended Mojica/Negri family, Zoilita’s loving warmth, generosity and world-class hugs are treasured memories of all who knew her, She is loved, mourned and survived by her daughters Inés Negri (née Mojica)and Maria Luisa Cuellar (née Mojica); her son-in law Thomas Negri; her grandchildren Juan Camillo Cuellar, Andrea Inés Cuellar; Daniel Thomas Negri; Michael Anthony Negri and great-grandchildren Juan Pablo Cuellar, Sofia Cuellar, Gemma Negri and Gia Negri.
Zoilita was pre-deceased by her husband Ramon Antonio Mojica; her son Alvaro Mojica; her sister Yolanda Diaz de Prieto, and her brother Hector Rafael Diaz. She is also mourned and missed by the extended Diaz, Prieto, Mojica, Cuellar and Negri families and all those fortunate enough to have known and loved her.
Though Zoilita took a sabbatical from painting for decades in order to raise her family and nurture and lavish love on her grandchildren, she picked up her brushes again at age 81 and has created prolifically since. After many years of visiting her daughter Inés, son-in-law Tom and grandchildren Danny and Michael in the United States, Zoilita emigrated in 1999 and became an American citizen in 2013 at the age of 93. The latter event was noted by news media from around the region.
For those wishing to pay their respects to Zoilita and her family, visitation will be at St. Mathew’s Catholic Church on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM, and will be followed by a funeral mass at 2:00 PM. St. Mathew’s Catholic Church is located at 535 Sneed Road West in Franklin Tennessee.
Her passing just 21-days shy of her 98th birthday leaves a void in the hearts and lives of all those who love her. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in memory of Zoilita Mojica be made to the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) or Conexion Americas (both located at 2195 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211) and/or to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St, Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.