Justina Gloria Pereda was born in Jersey City, NJ, on November 12,1922. She was the youngest daughter of Matias Pereda and Marina Fernandez Pereda, who emigrated to the U.S. from Spain. In 1947, she married Charles Christian Rubner following his WWII military service at Pearl Harbor and in the Pacific Theater. They had…read more
Justina Gloria Pereda was born in Jersey City, NJ, on November 12,1922. She was the youngest daughter of Matias Pereda and Marina Fernandez Pereda, who emigrated to the U.S. from Spain. In 1947, she married Charles Christian Rubner following his WWII military service at Pearl Harbor and in the Pacific Theater. They had two daughters and shared a full life of love, work, family, community service, and travel until his death in 2001. Justina and Charlie lived at various times in New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan and Arizona.
Justina had a remarkable array of interests and talents. Early in life she was taught the fine arts of needlework, handed down to her by the women in her family. Besides knitting prolifically, she also learned embroidery, crochet, sewing and dressmaking, all of which she taught to her daughters. Her entire family, including grandchildren, were the beneficiaries of her beautifully crafted handwork.
Justina had a passionate relationship with Mother Nature. With her husband, she tended a large garden on their beloved Michigan hilltop, and took great pleasure in its bountiful harvests. Gifts from her abundant crops of lavender scented the homes of friends and family. In later years, she spent many Sundays walking in the Chicago Botanic Garden with her daughter Karen. It was also a favorite place to go when family arrived for a visit. Swimming, hiking, snow shoeing, golfing, and cross country skiing were also among her favorite activities. Her collection of Senior Olympics medals and long lifespan were fruits of her dedication to physical activity. She was able to maintain her walking until a few days before her passing.
Justina also loved the fine arts, especially visual art and music. She took drawing and painting courses at the Kalamazoo Art Institute and relished visits to the Chicago Institute of Art with her daughter Karen and granddaughter Anna. Although she listened to diverse types of music, opera and musical theater were favorites. For many years, she and her husband regularly attended the Bach Festival in Kalamazoo. She had a marvelous singing voice and until the end of her life, could remember and sing melodies from her favorite operas. She was no less dedicated to the music and arts of her Spanish heritage, the melodies of folk songs and Zarzuela, and even in her late 80s could still dance the Jota. She grew up bilingual and employed her Spanish language skills whenever she could.
Justina was a long-time member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo, MI, Bethany Lutheran Church in Northport, MI, and Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, AZ. She was active in church service, including Altar Guild and treasury matters, Women’s circles, Bible study and countless charitable projects. She and her husband Charlie developed a swim program for MS patients in Traverse City, MI, were regular participants in crop walks and volunteered as docents at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Justina worked outside her home, too. She was employed in various positions with the IRS and Social Security Administration, where she made many lasting friends.
She lived by unconditional love. Devoted to her family, Justina was a fierce protector of her daughters, encouraging them to reach for their stars without feeling constrained by convention. She exemplified kindness and forgiveness, yet she was also feisty and spoke her mind.
In her later years, she lived in IL at Brookdale of Des Plaines and then at Symphony of Evanston, where she was an avid participant in many activities while she was able. She faced life with elegance, gratitude and great strength even as her health declined. Her kindness and sweet smile touched many.
Besides her husband, Charlie, she was pre-deceased by her parents, her in-laws Amelia and Henry Rubner, her sisters, Anita Onesta, Aquilina Pelod, and Maria Josefa, sisters-in-law Betty Rubner Mathews and Mary Day Rubner, nephew Edwin Hanke Jr. , and cousins Leonora Macklin-Fredenburgh and Clarence Pereda. She is survived by her daughters, Anna Rubner Pereda (Paul Armin) and Karen Rubner Grotberg, her grandchildren John Christian Grotberg (Bethany Joy), Anna Christine Grotberg, and Jennifer Allison Armin-Pereda, former son in law, James Grotberg, brother in law, Hank Rubner, and her cherished grade-school classmate, Isabel Matera Koenig, with whom she enjoyed an 86-year friendship.
Justina’s family thanks the compassionate caregivers, staff and volunteers at Symphony of Evanston as well as JourneyCare’s skilled hospice team.
Justina will be interred with her late husband in Ft. Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, MI.
Memorial donations may be made to Leelanau Conservancy, P.O. Box 1007, Leland, MI, 49654 (www.leelanauconservancy.org), JourneyCare Foundation, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview, IL, 60025 (www.journeycare.org), or a charity of one’s choice.
Funeral info: 847.673.6111.hide