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Obituary: Rafaela “Chiquita” Hlinovsky

October 4, 1936 – March 13, 2024

Obituary: Rafaela "Chiquita" Hlinovsky

This isn’t going to be your traditional obituary. Ignore the death dates because a death date states that she’s gone, and she will never be gone from this earth. You see, Rafaela Hlinovsky (Chiquita) is still very much alive right now.

She is alive in the selflessness and strength in her daughter (Lizette). She is alive in the hearty laugh and humor of her son (Andres). She is alive in the way that her granddaughter (Katherine) parents and loves her two children (Madison and Harvey).

To know Rafaela (Chiquita, madresita) was a great privilege. Anyone who got to meet her even for a few minutes can attest to that. She was an adorable redhead who would brighten your day when you saw her. There were always hugs and kisses, and they never ran out. One of her favorite ways to show love was through food. She loved making a big meal and feeding anyone who would sit at her table and eat. She loved fiercely and intensely. There was never a moment you had to question her love. She made sure to tell you as often as she possibly could. She loved to tell stories about her life to her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. Stories that you would think would harden a person but for her, made her more gentle, kind, and appreciative of the little things in life.

Her strength and will to fight is one of her most admirable qualities. Things that would have taken most people down didn’t even faze her. She laid her burdens down at God’s feet and trusted that he would give her what she needed, and he did. He always did.

So instead of calling this an obituary, I call this a celebratory dedication. Here’s to the woman who helped raise me, who loved me and guided me through life. My absolute soulmate. Here’s to the woman who raised two beautiful, wonderful, kind, caring people I have the privilege of calling my mom and uncle. To the best Mother (Lizette and Andres), Grandmother (Katherine Knauerhaze, Jeremy Garcia, and Andres Garcia), great grandmother (Madison Knauerhaze, Harvey Hart, and Anjolie Garcia), daughter (Clemencia Velazquez-concepcion and Isidro Velazquez), and sister (Angela, Matilde, Isidro, Isabel, Luis, Carmen, Sara, Anna, Luz, Carlos, Jose, Tomas, and Jorge) anyone could have asked for. And to God’s most beautiful angel, she now walks beside her grandson Jeremy who she missed so much. She will be remembered in our hearts and through every story and kind word that is ever spoken of her.

Smits Funeral Homes
Smits Funeral Homes
We are a family-owned business providing compassionate, professional end-of-life care. We handle all the details during a difficult time, so you can focus on the things that matter. We understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. Call our main office at 219-322-7300 to find out more about the customized services we can offer your family when the time comes.