Carmen Moreno de Aponte, a woman of substance and heart

Carmen Moreno de Aponte, a Venezuelan economist, passed away on Oct. 12 at her home in Berkeley, California. She was 84.

Carmen was born on Feb. 15, 1933, in Caracas, which was still a small city of colonial red-tile roofs in a valley with spring-like weather. She was the last of five daughters. In 1958, she graduated from Central University of Venezuela, one of only a few women to have earned a degree in economics.

In 1963, Carmen married César Aponte and had three children. After he passed away in 1974, she never remarried. Carmen devoted her life to raising her children while pursuing her career as an economist.

In the 1960s and 1970s, she held several leadership positions in the Venezuelan government, notably in the areas of finance, development, and tourism. In 1988, she retired from public service. Her last position was as Venezuela’s director of foreign investment.

During the 1990s, she worked as an independent consultant and later did many years of volunteer work with the Catholic Church, helping the poor in San Bernardino neighborhood of Caracas.

Carmen traveled extensively during her life and was passionate about France and French culture. As a result of the political crisis in Venezuela, Carmen moved to London in 2012. Later she relocated to Berkeley, where the hills and climate reminded her of her native Caracas.

In the last months of her life, Carmen would go to Live Oak Park in North Berkeley every day. She loved the sound of birds and children playing. Even though she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s more than 12 years ago, Carmen was known for her love of music, playful humor, and graciousness even until the end.

Carmen is survived by her son Marco Aponte-Moreno and son-in-law Lance Lattig of Berkeley; her son César Aponte and son-in-law Brandon Wollen of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; her daughter Marielena Aponte, her grandsons Daniel Haeffner and Antonio Haeffner of Ettlingen, Germany; her dog Coco, and her extended family and friends in Venezuela and around the world.

Burial will be held on Wednesday, Oct 18 at 11 a.m., at Sunset View Cemetery, 101 Colusa Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530.