Alicia Estela Figueroa died peacefully on the evening of March 27, 2017, at Sacred
Heart Home in Hyattsville, MD. She was 94.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, Alicia was born on August 13, 1922 in Santiago, Dominican
Republic. She was the eldest daughter of Leonte Ureña and Luisa Fermin, followed by a
brother, Fernando, and sister, Hilda Maria. Her father was a hard-working and
prosperous farmer and rancher in the agricultural region of the Dominican heartland
known as El Cibao. She might have followed the expectations of the time and chosen a
comfortable and quiet life in the familiarity of home, but instead decided to emigrate to
New York City in the early 1950s. She lived in Elmhurst and studied English and fashion
design in night school while going through a string of jobs, including a very brief stint
with her best friend Colombina as a ladies' hat-maker in a walk-up building in the
Garment Center of Manhattan. The job ended when the owner quickly realized that their
claimed experience was more hopeful than actual.
Alicia loved the bustle and excitement of New York, the automated novelty of Horn &
Hardart for lunch and the strong cups of Chock Full o' Nuts coffee which seemed to
power the entire city. She learned the art of pattern-making for women's fashion and
worked as an assistant to many notable designers at leading companies of the day, like
Leslie Faye and Trousers Up. She loved the thrill of personally delivering her own
patterns to the factory seamstresses working in Long Island City, who would transform a
sample dress, blouse or pants into a full line, shortly to be seen on sale at Macy's. In the
evenings when not in night school, she burned many pots learning the basics of
cooking, another skill she hadn't ever needed back at home. In New York, she met and
married Ramón Figueroa, of San Pedro de Macorís, D.R. They had two children, Marie
Louise in 1959, and Michael in 1961. By the mid-1960s their marriage had ended in
legal separation. Ramón Figueroa died in 1993, at 77.
Alicia lived in the Queens neighborhood of Forest Hills for most of her time in New York
City. She raised her children as a single mother, ensuring they went to Catholic
elementary school. Marie went on to graduate from St. Vincent Ferrer High School in
Manhattan and Trinity College in Washington, D.C. Michael graduated from Regis H.S.
also in Manhattan and Georgetown University. Alicia worked in the fashion business for
many years until a fall resulting in a fractured vertebra meant she could no longer stand
for most of the day, creating patterns at her slanted design table.
After retirement Mrs. Figueroa moved to Washington, D.C. She lived in Glover Park and
spent happy summers in her garden plot across the street at the Glover Park
Community Garden, where she grew bumper crops of all kinds of vegetables and
flowers, resting from the intense sun to sit on the small bricked patio under her grape
vine arbor. Later she resided at Friendship Terrace Retirement Community in
Friendship Heights, D.C., and at the Sacred Heart Home.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Alicia Figueroa, please visit our Tree Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Alicia
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Rapp Funeral and Cremation Services