Marina the Matriarch

Morris and Marina Chudler, married 67 years. Courtesy photo

By Carly Keefe, Canyon Country Community Contributor


Marina Chudler enjoying a visit to her favorite place in Yosemite National Park. Courtesy photo

Marina Chudler, a local Valencia resident, will be turning 99 this November 27th. She was born in 1918 in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and her ancestors were of Belgium decent. Marina grew up in Mexico City, and came to the United States in 1945. When she came to the United States, the war had just ended, and she remembers people celebrating in the streets of Los Angeles. She met the love of her life, Morris Chudler, at a USO dance on Halloween night. He was a WW2 Vet, from the Army Air Core, and it was love at first sight. Together, they had 5 children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great grandchildren.

Morris and Marina loved going on cruises, spending time with their family, taking annual family vacations to Yosemite, and you would find them every Sunday at the Newhall Church of the Nazarene. Marina lost her beloved husband Morris in December 2013, but her house is still full of love and family members visiting every day of the week. She wakes up every morning and sends a devotional email called “In Touch” to every single person in her family – she considers it her job, and she never misses a day. Her age also has not held her back from entering the technological age: she is very active on Facebook and will not hesitate to scold some of the youngsters posting inappropriate stuff.

Known lovingly as Grandmama by all of the family members, she is full of a fiery spirit as well as the ultimate example of faith and love. She is the queen of the family, the matriarch, the glue that keeps such a large family so close together. Grandmama amazes her family with her wit, her humor, and her ability to recall memories from her childhood.

For her 99th birthday, her family will be throwing her a big party to celebrate her “almost centurion status”, while cherishing the time they are blessed to have with her because, as Grandmama always reminds them: “Only God knows when my last day will be, so while I’m here I want to enjoy every moment.”

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