Anamaria Frias was born on December 23, 1953, to Ercilia Altagracia Pena Batista and the late Apolinar Bolivar Mateo de los Santos in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic. On February 22, 2023, after a courageous battle, our Lord and Savior called her home to be our angel.
As a child, Anamaria was known as the shy, timid, quiet girl in the neighborhood. However, that didn’t stop all the boys in the neighborhood from having crushes on her, because she was also known as one of the prettiest girls on the block and in school. While this continued throughout their childhood, this caused Anamaria’s sister, Yvonne, to get in so many fights with other kids with the intention of always protecting her sister, no matter what. This protective dynamic within their relationship lasted throughout Anamaria and Yvonne’s life.
When they arrived to the United States in 1971, Anamaria and her sister, Yvonne, were reunited with their mother, who was already residing in the states for some time. Anamaria completed high school at Irvington High School in Irvington, New Jersey and at Clifford J. Scott High School in East Orange, New Jersey. In approximately 1972, Anamaria met her future husband, and father of her children, Wimberto Antonio Frias (“Tony”). Tony, who was from Brooklyn, New York at the time, was introduced to Anamaria by his older brother Miguel, who said, he wanted Tony to meet an “educated pretty woman.” This was the beginning of their courtship, which lasted several years. Throughout the time they were dating, Tony relocated to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and they both made sure to keep in touch with writing love letters to each other in the late 1970’s. And of course, this was to avoid high phone bills in those days!
Anamaria went on to attend Kean College (known as Kean University today), where she majored in Social Work. While attending college, Anamaria maintained exceptional grades and was even recognized and named as an Honorary Sister for the sorority Lamda Theta Alpha. Throughout her career, Anamaria has worked with multiple populations, including children and families with the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (formerly known as DYFS), individuals with substance abuse and caring for the elderly population.
After graduating college, Anamaria and Tony were married in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in August 1980. After settling in Elizabeth, New Jersey, they expanded their family with three children, Manuel Antonio (1982), Anamaria “Annie” (1984) and Allen Antonio (1987). A few years later, the family relocated to Willingboro, New Jersey, where Anamaria and Tony purchased their first home and soon joined The Presbyterian Church of Willingboro.
Anamaria had talents in many areas, including singing, dancing and sewing. She was known for singing around the house, especially on Saturday mornings while making her kids clean the house. Anytime she had the opportunity, she would show off her salsa and merengue skills on the dance floor of any event. She was also known for her sewing abilities to make clothing, bedding, drapes and anything around the house. She was most passionate about her cooking, which was her love language. Cooking was how she demonstrated her love to friends and family and took so much pride in doing so. Every time her children’s friends would come over, there was always the expectation that she would make sure to feed any and everyone with traditional home cooked Dominican Food. Some of her favorite dishes included, moro con pollo guisado, Dominica spaghetti, platanos, sancocho, pastelles, bacalao, lasagna, ensalada de papa con manzana y habichuelas con dulce. We will definitely miss her cooking!
She leaves to cherish her memory, her mother Ercilia Pena Batista, husband, Tony Frias, children, Manuel (Tiahease), Annie (Scott) and Allen, sisters Yvonne and Rocio, brother-in-law Abdou, brothers Edgar, Paulo, Christian, and Tomas, six grandchildren and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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