Maria could not wait to begin her journey into this world and on July 1, 1978 she was born Maria Louisa Padilla in an ambulance en route to the hospital in Perth Amboy, N.J., to her proud dad Ismael Padilla and her beautiful mom Judith Cummings Sorenson, who preceded her in death in 2011 and with whom she is now happily reunited in heaven.
Maria grew up in Port Monmouth, NJ where she graduated from Middletown North High School in 1996.
Always an animal lover, it was here where she raised some "interesting" pets, such as a tarantula, a hedgehog and a goat she used to walk along the beach.
Though she loved the fast-paced Jersey lifestyle, in the early 2000s Maria chose to make Canton her new home so she could be nearer to family - especially her mom with whom she shared a close bond.
She attended Lackawanna Community College in Towanda, majoring in Early Childhood Education and began her career at Stepping Stones Childcare in Canton where she impacted the lives of so many children and their families for over a decade. Maria was a member of New Life Church in Canton and her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ carried her throughout her fight.
A memorial service will be held in honor and remembrance of Maria's life at 11 am on March 26, at New Life Church, 299 McMurray Rd., Canton, PA 17724. Donations to the family can be sent by cash, PayPal, or preferably through Maria's GoFundMe page online.
The Morse & Kleese Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.