Carlota Toñarely Fernandez-Morrell
Carlota Morrell was born November 4, 1919 in Havana, Cuba, to Jose Ramon and Carmen Toñarely. She graduated from the American Dominican Academy in Havana. She had attended dance academies in Havana and New York City, focusing on tap and Spanish folk dancing. She was an exchange student at Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas, before returning to Havana to further her education and to teach kindergarten.
She married Alberto Fernandez-Morrell in June 1943 and raised their family, with homes in Havana and on the family farming and ranching operation near Esmeralda, Camaguey Province. In 1960, they came to the US and established residence in Pahokee. While in Pahokee, she assisted with Mrs. Blakey’s Kindergarten. In 1963, the family moved to Clewiston.
Carlota opened Morrell’s Platyme Kindergarten in 1963 and operated it until her retirement in 1985. During those years, she helped prepare hundreds for schooling. She also taught tap dancing in Clewiston and LaBelle. She had a lifetime-long love for teaching children.
Carlota died peacefully at 97 on June 6, 2017. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Alberto, and brothers Luis, Enrique, Ramon and Fernando Toñarely. She is survived by her children Carlota Francis-Barwick (Jeff), Alberto (Sandra), Armando (Patsy) of Mayking, KY, Luisa Jenkins (Michael) of Tonawanda, NY, Serafina Marcone (Victor) of Northport, and Alfonso (Laina) of Canton, GA. She is survived by 17 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren.
A memorial funeral Mass will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 1 at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Clewiston. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the St. Margaret Catholic Church Building Maintenance Fund.