Maria Elena Guerrero (Beltran)

Maria Elena Guerrero (Beltran), age 82, of Dubuque, IA, died peacefully on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at Oak Park Place, with her loving family members by her side.  To honor Maria’s life, her Celebration of Life will be held from 4:00-8:00 p.m., on Friday, February 10, 2023, at the Grand River Center, 500 Bell Street, in Dubuque, in the Third Floor, River Room.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held the following morning, Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1425 Iowa Street, in Dubuque.  The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Maria’s family. 

Maria Elena Guerrero was more than just a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend.  She was a teacher, caregiver to children and lover of life.

She was born in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 14 and eventually moved to Chicago.  She graduated St. Mary’s High School in Chicago and soon after began her journey to become a Maryknoll Sister of St. Dominic, she served as a nun for five years in New York before leaving the order for family reasons.
Maria Elena had one child, Robert Beltran in 1969 before embarking on a life long pledge of service to children and the comminuty. She worked for the State of Illinois, but found her second calling as an educator both at the high school and college level.  Her thirst for knowledge is best explemplified by her commitment to complete her Masters in Eductaion at Loyola University Chicago at the age of 60.
While she only had one biological child, she was a foster mother to more than 150 children and teens in the Chicago area for 17 years.  She was also a member of the Chicago and Dubuque, Iowa Lions Club and was president twice. 

She moved to Dubuque, Iowa in 2013, and resided at Bethany Home where she remained active and social and continued to pray her rosary every day with her new family and friends. In April of 2022, Mary Ellen had to move to Oak Park Place in Dubuque, an assisted living community.

Maria Elena is survived by her son, Robert and was Abuelita to Trinity and Bennett Beltran. She was sister to Alice, Josephine, Stella, Cesar, Carolyn, Lisa and Martha.

Online condolences for Maria’s family may be left at

Celebration of Life

Grand River Center, Third Floor River Room
500 Bell Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001
February 10th, 2023 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Mass of Christian Burial

St. Patrick's Catholic Church
1425 Iowa Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001
February 11th, 2023 at 10:30 AM

One comment on “Maria Elena Guerrero (Beltran)
  1. Larry Groah III says:

    I’m so glad I got to meet your mom Robert. Sending you, your kids, and your extended family my heart left condolences.

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