A month ago Vilma Beteta, a barista at Greenberrys, gave birth to the child she and her husband Ramsis had long hoped and prayed for. She was overwhelmed with joy.
Saturday she will attend her husband's funeral and Sunday she will bury him. "She is devastated," said her friend and co-worker Alina Sarb.
Vilma Beteta is a well-known and well-liked barista at Greenberrys, a popular downtown coffeeshop. "The Office," the group of retirees that convenes each mid-morning at Greenberrys, gave her a baby shower in December.
The news shocked regulars at Greenberrys, when they began learning on Friday of her husband's sudden death. He apparently died of a heart attack after he parked his car near their Falls Church apartment Thursday evening, her friends said.
"She was waiting for him to come home for dinner," Sarb said. He always arrived between 7 - 7:30. She kept calling him. "The police knocked on her door at 3:15am. to tell her they had found him in his car very close to home."
Vilma Beteta was staying at home for three months after the birth of their son Kevin Samuel, born Jan. 6. "She told me this is the first time my husband will work for me," Sarb said.
Vilma Beteta had worked two jobs. Both she and her husband were immigrants from Guatemala and both had lived in the U.S. for many years.
"She was just lovely," said Mary Ludden, a member of The Office. "You just feel sad for her. It's so tragic."
Stephanie Brunhofer: "Such a tragedy after a blessing."
Jan King: "She always treated everyone like you were best friends. . . so open, engaging and warm. This is the kind of thing that life throws a curveball. You feel so helpless because you know this is a great void in her life."
Denise Garbis, who helped organize the December baby shower. "Whenever I came in, there was a bright smile and she knew exactly how I liked my latte. . . We've all become aunties to the staff here," she said.
The Betetas moved into a new and larger apartment in Falls Church just before the baby's arrival. The apartment overlooks National Memorial Park where her husband will be buried, Sarb said.
A fund for the family and funeral service information
A fund for the family as been created in Vilma 's name at Wells Fargo Bank.
Mark Martinez, branch manger of the Wells Fargo Bank on Old Dominion Drive (close to Greenberrys) said if residents want to make a donation they should:
1. Go to a Wells Fargo Bank. Bring your donation with you in the form of a check or cash. (If you want to use an ATM card, you will need to withdraw the cash using the Wells Fargo ATM machine and they will charge you for it.)
2. Tell a cashier that you would like to made a donation to Vilma Beteta. They will find the account and accept the donation.
If you have any problems, please ask for Martinez or service manager LaShantra Green.
Funeral Services: 1 p.m. Saturday at National Memorial Park, 7482 Lee Highway in Fairfax, a representative of the funeral home said. A viewing will precede the service. A second viewing will be held Sunday.
Full Disclosure: McLean Patch knows Mrs. Beteta and will make a donation to her family.