Germana Bettencourt Afonso Cabral entered this life on May 31, 1929, and took her-walk with Jesus on May 8, 2011, at St. Louise Regional Hospital with her nephew and two great-nieces by her side, after a brief illness.
She was the eighth child of ten born to Manuel Inacio Afonso and Teresa Bettencourt Amarante in the town of Beira, Sao Jorge, Acores.
Germana came to the United States in 1960, settling in Gilroy with her sister Silvina and brother-in-law, Joe Bettencourt and their five children. Once here, Tia, as known by her large extended family, worked as a caregiver and housekeeper in the Gilroy area.
In April of 1969, Germana married Joe Cabral and lived with him in San Jose until his passing in 1989. Shortly, thereafter, Germana moved back to Gilroy to live with Silvina.
She is preceded in death by her husband Joe Cabral, parents Joe and Teresa Afonso, brothers Jorge, Joao, Manuel and Tony Afonso and sisters Maria do Camo Afonso and Teresa Afonso Maciel.
Germana was well known for her intricate skill of crochet and a perfectionist when it came to her passion as a talented seamstress. Tia made wedding dresses for several nieces here and in the Acores. She also enjoyed “bedazzling” her knick-knacks with gold accents. Germana loved baking and was thrilled when she learned frosting could be bought and NOT have to be made by hand. She was also a good cook. Tia had three indoor cats in which she adored. Their names where Mr. LouLou, Sheeka and Nee Nee. She also spent time dressing her own dolls with clothes she made for them. Tia made all of her own clothing.
As a young woman on the island of Sao Jorge, Germana sang in the church choir, loved to dance, and enjoyed playing the harmonica and the guitar.
A family memory of her nieces and nephews included a time when Germana and Silvina would have a traditional Portuguese Atizanr (a well known teasing sing-off). This occurred during family/social gatherings at the family home during the making of linguica. Over this last year and a half, she tended to the care of her older sister Silvina in addition to the chickens and outside cats she loved.
Germana is survived by sisters Silvina Bettencourt of Gilroy, Isabel Sousa and Lourdes Afonso of Beira, Sao Jorge, Acores. Nephews and Nieces Manuel J. Bettencourt wife Peggy of Paicines, CA, Joe Bettencourt wife Debbie of Gilroy, Ca., Mary Cavanaugh husband Ted of Oregon, Theresa Vasquez husband Cesar of Morgan Hill, CA and John Bettencourt of Colorado. Germana also has ten great-nieces and four great-nephews, five great-great-nieces and nine great, great-nephews here in the United States and several more in the Acores. Germana also has numerous cousins throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
The family wishes to thank family friend George Perry, cousins Mary Brazil, Neto and husband Manuel and the staff at St. Louise Regional who helped to comfort Germana and the family.
A visitation will begin 1:00 P.M. with a vigil service at 6:00 P.M. Wednesday, May 11, 2011, at Habing Family Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will begin 11:30 A.M. Thursday, May 12, 2011, at St. Mary Catholic Church.
Online condolences at habingfamilyfuneralhome.com