September 2023

Elsa R. Rojas

August 16, 1926
September 2, 2023


Elsa R. Rojas

The Visitation Will be held at:

  • at

The Memorial Will be held at:

  • at

The Burial Will be held at:

  • at

Donations Can be made to:

  • Cypress Village Scholarship Fund
  • flower icon
  • 4600 Middleton Park Circle East, Jacksonville, FL 32224

Elsa R. Rojas, 97, of Miami, FL, passed away on Saturday, September 2, 2023.  

Elsa, known to all who loved her as "Mimi", is survived by her daughter, Idania "Ida" (Richard) Gropper; grandchildren Richard (Britney) Gropper and Michael (Julie) Gropper; great-grandchildren Morgan, Ryan, and Charles Gropper; and many nieces and nephews who considered her a surrogate mom.  

Elsa was the youngest of nine brothers and sisters and is preceded in death by her husband of 37 years Manuel R. Rojas; parents: Pedro and Severa Rios; brothers Pedro, Nemencio and Ernesto Rios; sisters Elisa Sardinas, Eloida Cordova, Ebelia Valera, Cecilia Oropesa, and Enedina Pinero along with nieces, nephews and loved ones.  

Born in Batabano, Cuba, she and her family lived on a farm where she developed a love for gardening and a green thumb.  She attended school in Havana and later worked in the offices of the Havana Transportation Authority.  She immigrated to the United States after witnessing human rights atrocities during Fidel Castro's communist regime, including personally threatened with a rifle for not complying to mandatory financing the communist party.  A courageous and intuitive woman determined that her only daughter would not grow up in a communist country, she left her husband and homeland, taking her daughter, one suitcase and $5 on her journey to the US.  In Miami, she was able to find employment quickly due to her sewing skills and rudimentary understanding of English.  She worked full-time and attended school at night, improving her English and receiving a high school diploma from Hialeah High School.  Elsa was a lifelong learner and took classes in ceramics, flower arrangement, cosmetology and English.  She was hired by Dade County Public Schools where she served for 17 years as secretary in the department of Exceptional Students.  

Elsa was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.   She enjoyed cooking Cuban cuisine, traveling and gardening, especially growing orchids. She moved to Jacksonville to be with her family in 2017 and resided at Cypress Village.  While there she taught dominos and Spanish classes to friends.   Elsa's family is grateful to all the staff at Cypress Village for their kindness and support.  The family thanks the nurses and staff at the McGraw Community Hospice Center for their assistance during Elsa's final days.  Special thanks to Elsa's caregiver, friend and nurse, Gay Guthrie-Barrett.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Cypress Village Scholarship Fund, 4600 Middleton Park Circle East, Jacksonville, FL 32224.  

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.