Tula Rosa Ugarteche Warchol was born February 17, 1945 in Lima, Peru. She first came to the United States to study biology at George Washington University in the 1960s, living with her uncle, who worked in the Peruvian Consulate in Washington, DC, and his wife and children. She was known for playing Peruvian songs on her antique Spanish classical guitar, and for looking like a gorgeous 1960s fashion model. When her uncle passed away unexpectedly, Tula returned to Lima and life with her parents and five brothers. While singing in the choir at her church, she met Charles Warchol, an American who was serving in the United States Peace Corps. They married in Lima and subsequently moved to the U.S., where they had two children. Tula returned to complete her college degree, this time in Fine Arts, at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. After moving to Atlanta with her family, Tula became a United States citizen and began working as a legal secretary at the offices of King & Spalding, LLP, where she remained for 22 years. She also earned a certificate as a paralegal and as a Spanish to English legal translator. In her spare time, she played tennis, cooked gourmet meals, took pottery lessons and spent time with her many friends.
Sadly, during heart surgery to repair her mitral valve, Tula suffered a stroke and had to retire much earlier than expected. She subsequently moved to join her daughter in Farmington, New York, along with her growing family. With a gift from her late mother-in-law Julia, Tula built her little dream home in Canandaigua, where she enjoyed gardening and spending time on her beautiful patio surrounded by the trees she had personally picked for her landscaping. She also enjoyed many summers walking around Canandaigua Lake and taking water and landscape photographs. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she made many friends and enjoyed being an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Every year she would attend several Masses at Christmas to help fill the need for extra ministers.
Tula loved to play with her grandchildren in Farmington and to visit her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in Dahlonega, Georgia when she could. Unfortunately, the vascular damage that was set in motion by the stroke continued to progress, and Tula had to leave her beloved home in Canandaigua when she started to need assistance in caring for herself. She was ultimately at St. Ann’s memory care facility in Webster, New York. There she enjoyed sitting in the sunny dining room near the windows looking out over the courtyard with its trees and flowers and made the staff smile every day. When Tula was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital in early December, 2022, her son came up from Georgia so he could sit with her in the crowded emergency department for several days when all the hospitals in the area were over capacity. Her daughter came downstairs from her job as a night shift RN in the Cancer Center to visit her every morning. Every day, when Tula saw her children, she would smile and say “es un milagro!” (it’s a miracle). When she started seeing her late father sitting in the room with her, her son and daughter knew that time was running short, and that he was there to take her back home with him.
Tula departed this life on December 18, 2022. According to family lore, December 18 was her father’s actual birthday (officially it was the day before). She was predeceased by her father Manuel, her mother Lily, her brothers Manuel and Hernando, and her former spouse Charles. She is survived by her brothers Alberto, Felipe and Martin, her daughter Michelle, her son Alexander, her daughter-in-law Miriam, her son-in-law Michael, her six grandchildren (in order of oldest to youngest): Christopher, Gabriel, Kathleen, Michael, William and Benjamin, her sister-in-law Joyce, and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family members in Peru, Mexico and the U.S.
Tula’s Funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 115 Maple Avenue in Victor, New York, on June 30, 2023 at 10:00 AM.
After the Funeral Mass, Tula will be interned at Woodlawn Cemetery, 130 N. Pearl Street in Canandaigua.
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