Elvira Popa Born on October 26, 1939, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Her parents were Emenencio Popa and Filomena González, both deceased. She had four brothers and one sister: Gregorio Sebastian Popa, Ventura Popa, Angel Popa, Claudio Popa and Teresa Popa Charles
She went to “Colegio Adventista Dominicano” for elementary school and high school and later attended Antillean College in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico where she received her degree as a Bible Worker.
In 1962 she married José Guillen and began her ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist church in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and United States. She had three daughters: Gloria Guillen, Nancy Guillen Cobaxin (deceased), and Opal Guillen Melendez. During all these years she served the church as women’s ministries director, youth society director, directory of outreach ministries, food ministry and many other positions.
During her time in Michigan, she studied nursing and completed a degree as a nurse’s aide. She worked several years in hospitals and nursing homes to supplement her income.
From 1982- 1985 she served as women’s dean in the Women’s residence hall of the Dominican Adventist University where she had attended as a young girl.
After her divorce in 1997, she worked as a teacher’s assistant in schools and in daycares in Dallas, Texas. She continued to minister in each of the churches that she belonged to never refusing to help wherever she was asked.
En 2010 she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She bravely fought the disease for over 9 years, faithfully following her chemo and radiation treatments. During this time she moved to Florida to be closer to beloved family members. She worked tirelessly in the Avon Park Seventh-day Adventist church giving Bible studies and ministering to all who needed her despite her illness. She always cared for the sick and elderly in the congregation and was responsible for leading many souls to Christ.
In February 2013 her beloved daughter Nancy Cobaxin passed away after losing her battle against cancer.
In August, 2017 she became paralyzed due to a tumor in her spinal column. She moved to her daughter’s home in Georgia where her health steadily declined until her death in August 2018. She was 78 years old. She never lost her faith in God even in her darkest moments.
She is survived by her daughters Gloria Guillen and Opal Melendez, her son-in-law Misael Melendez, her grandchildren: Jessica Melendez Ballester, Giovanni Melendez, Michael Joshua Cobaxin, and Janelle Cobaxin Moore. Her great-grandchildren: Axel Cobaxin and Jayden Moore, her brothers, one sister, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A celebration of Elvira's life will be held on Sunday, August 19, 2018, at 11:00 am in the chapel of Byrd & Flanigan Funeral Service Lawrenceville GA interment will follow at Broadlawn Memorial Gardens Buford GA. The family will receive friends on Saturday, August 18, 2018, from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the funeral home. Arrangements by Byrd & Flanigan Crematory And Funeral Service Lawrenceville GA (770)962-2200 ByrdandFlanigan.com