OBITUARY: Refugia “Cookie” Gonzalez

Refugia "Cookie" Gonzalez

NORTH NEWTON—Refugia “Cookie” Gonzalez, 91, died Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Kidron Bethel in North Newton.

She was born on July 14, 1930, in Emporia, the daughter of Juanita and Jose Lopez Leal. Her mother died when she was 5 years old and her father later married Juanita Solis.

“Cookie” moved to Newton in the early 1950s. She went to work for Fred Harvey as a “Harvey Girl.” She later went to work for Hehr Midwest in Newton making windows and retiring after 25 years.

“Cookie” was a longtime member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, making tacos and tortillas for her family. It was always a joy to spend time with her grandkids and great-grandkids along with other family members.

She married Antonio R. Gonzalez on Oct. 10, 1970, in Newton. Wherever there was a dance, you would find the two of them dancing to Mexican music. They traveled to California to visit family and made several trips to Las Vegas for bowling tournaments. Tony died on July 5, 1990.

Survivors include her son, Michael R. Leal and his fiancé Molly Sandoval of North Newton; three granddaughters, Briana Curry and husband Brett of Iola, Jessica Michael and husband Jared of Pittsburg, and Tiffany Osborn and husband Brett of Kansas City, Mo.; and eight great-grandchildren, Jenna, Reese and Kashyn Curry, Bristol, Gage and Jake Michael, and Holland and Porter Osborn.

She also is survived by her siblings Teresa Jaso and Hope Leal, both of Wichita, Anthony Leal of Elkhart, Ind., Richard Leal and Rita Chavez, both of Wichita, and numerous nieces and nephews.

“Cookie” was preceded in death by her parents; stepmother; husband; brothers Manuel, Paul and Joe Leal; and sisters Esther and Letecia Leal.

The casket will be open from 1-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home in Newton, where the family will receive friends between 6-8 p.m.

The Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 29, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., both at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Newton. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Newton.

A memorial has been established with Our Lady of Guadalupe and contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, Kan., 67114.

Condolences may be left at

Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.

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