Maria T. (Tete) Bustillo passed away on May 12, 2021 peacefully at home embraced by her family. She was 99 years old. Tete was born on November 17, 1921 in Manzanillo, Cuba where she was raised and became a schoolteacher. She and her family immigrated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1965 where she resided before moving to Niceville, Florida in 2013 to be close to her family. Tete was well known for her heartfelt connection to friends and families of the Cuban community. Her remarkable strength and storytelling grounded her family in their heritage along with her passion for cooking and baking all her memorable dishes.
Tete was preceded in death by her husband, Rafael Bustillo and daughter, Isabel Bustillo Havard. She is survived by her 3 children, Maria Bustillo Leon and her husband Luis Leon, Rafael E. Bustillo and his wife, Jeannie M. Bustillo, Margarita Bustillo Dobbs, and her husband Steve Dobbs. She was also survived by Ruben Garcia, her first cousin who she raised and considered a son. She was blessed with 11 Grandchildren, Nicole Havard, Jennifer Leaycraft, Natalie Leon-Walsh, Michelle Frost, Michael Leon-Britt, Kristopher Gaudet, Brittany Bustillo, Kristen Bustillo, Megan Hale, Lauren Brown, Brennen Leon: 9 Great-Grandchildren, Cayden, Daniel, Chloe, Savannah, Brooks, Calder, Nora, Adams, Landon.
A celebration of Tete’s life will be held in November on what would have been her 100th birthday.
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