Obituary: Marlenes L. Teixeira

Dearest wife and mother, educator and musician with a heart full of joy, 35

Marlenes L. Teixeira, shown here with her husband, Tony, tragically died following complications related to childbirth.

Marlenes L. Teixeira lived her life in two exuberant phases: growing up in Cuba, where she mastered the piano, and living in the U.S., where she mastered her new world and shaped it to the benefit of those she touched, intimately as a wife, mother and daughter, and professionally as an educator impacting thousands in the Elizabeth school system.

Throughout, with her incandescent smile, she exhibited joy and faith in God, family and herself – and in the happy future she anticipated with her husband, Tony, and her twin boys, Tony and Teo. Called a force of nature, she was keen of mind and responsive to beauty in all its forms.

Marlenes L. (Luvins) Teixeira passed away on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Elmora Hills Healthcare & Rehab Center, Elizabeth. She was just 35.

“Because I am rooted in the eternal reality of God, nothing can ever diminish my joy,” Marlenes said recently. “Any rough patches I may experience on the pathway of life are smoothed by the joy of God that fills my heart.”

Born in Santiago de Cuba, Marlenes came to the United States and Elizabeth in 2001. She was most recently a vice principal in the Elizabeth public schools and had previously served as a teacher in various schools throughout Elizabeth.

She was a classical pianist, a graduate of Kean University, received her master’s degree from Boston University, and served as a member of the board of trustees at Union County College. She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Scotch Plains, N.J., as well as its chorus.

“My wife came to this country at the age of 19 and didn’t speak a word of English,” said her husband Tony, adding, “Through sheer willpower and determination and the support of her mother, she earned an advanced degree, and became a successful and integral member of the community.”

In 2014 Marlenes married Tony, chief of staff to Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak and Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley. “I am grateful for the gifts Marlenes has given me – none more tangible than Tony and Teo, but also the intangible gifts – like the power of love and faith. She also shared her deep appreciation for music with us all.”

Marlenes remained a proud daughter of Cuba, performing the Cuban National Anthem at an Elizabeth school district event and anticipating sharing the culture of Cuba and her husband’s native Portugal with her boys.

“As her husband, I always knew how amazing my wife was,” said Tony. “From the tremendous outpouring of love and support, the community knew it, too.”

Mrs. Teixeira is survived by her husband, Tony Teixeira, of Elizabeth, N.J.; Babies Tony and Teo; her mother, Sara J. Beckford of Elizabeth; a loving, extended family and countless friends who feel blessed to have known her.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations that will benefit her children directed to the Teixeira Family Fund, 59 Cornell Ave., Berkeley Heights, N.J. 07922 or online at

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