After a courageous battle with cancer, Martha Cordova Matters of Southampton died on November 15 while visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico. She was 53.
She was born in Baracoa, Cuba, during the Cuban revolution, which ended when Fidel Castro seized control of the government. According to survivors, growing up with limited goods and services made her highly resourceful.
As an adult, she worked for many years at the Porto Santo Hotel in Baracoa as the manager of the gift shop, and for the Baracoa Post Office. She also established a successful “casa particular,” a bed and breakfast, in Baracoa. Survivors said this week that her resourcefulness and homemaking skills were unsurpassed.
In 2002, she met Bruce Matters of Deer Isle, Maine, when he stayed in her
during his travels to Baracoa. It was there that they fell in love and, after a prolonged long distance courtship, she was able to join him in the United States and they were married in 2003.
While in Maine, Mrs. Matters was employed by the Haystack School of Crafts as assistant to the vegetarian chef. Then in 2004 when the couple moved to Southampton, she worked at K-Mart where she quickly rose to the position of manager of the housewares department. She also worked as a seamstress for private clients. Most recently, in the past two years, she managed her husband’s business, Coastal Caretakers.
With all her talents, the characteristics that stood out most, survivors said this week, were her charm, humor, loyalty and affection for everyone who knew her. They added that she was a good friend to all and will be greatly missed by her family and friends in Cuba and the United States.
In addition to her husband, Bruce Matters of Southampton, she is survived by her mother, Olivia Guillermina Cordova; five sisters, Maquelina Cordova, Eluminada Cordova, Esmerida Cordova, Reina Cordova and Enoelia Cordova; and a brother, Louie Cordova, all of Baracoa, Cuba. She is also survived by three sisters-in-law, Barbara De Barbieri, Ann Nives and Betty Jean O’ Connor, a brother-in-law, Bill Matters, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held on January 4 at f the Southampton Historical Museum in Southampton.