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Elizabeth Ann Nora Bubeck Cadena
Birth: Jan. 28, 1954
Marin County
California, USA
Death: Aug. 2, 1986
Harris County
Texas, USA

At Age: 32 years, 6 months, 5 days

My sister, my best friend, and my surrogate mother -all in one special person- was the daughter of Robert Evo Costa and Pansy Ann Kensler. Liz was raised by Pansy and (Living) Bubeck. Her biological father has been added for genealogy purposes only.*

Please consider flowers for her special little friend, this 4-year-old child, Cassie Elizabeth Miller, who had a significant role in her life. Cassie shared a special bond with Liz that I hope you will read about on Cassie's memorial.

Liz married (Living) Cadena and chose to be buried by this name for the love of her only child. Newspaper articles and records may be found under her last married name of Martin.

Liz took after mom and grandma with her gift of writing poetry. She also loved to collect the "Love is…" cartoons from the newspaper. She had many ways of her own to say, "I love you." Through the years I had seen so many ways that it only took a look into her eyes to recognize them all.

Liz's favorite color was purple and her favorite song was "Lady" by Kenny Rogers. She loved Country music and dancing. My sister was also very talented at knitting and crocheting. She knitted sweaters and blankets that looked store-bought. She also loved collecting owls and candles.

Last words my sister had written to me were on the back of an envelope for a letter she asked me to open and share upon her death. It says, "Remember me."

I am truly honored that I have found such a place here to fulfill that wish further. My big sister was an amazing woman to go through the situations she did, especially with the rare hereditary kidney disease that took her and my eldest brother, Robert.

Their disease, an autosomal recessive kidney disease in which both parents must carry the gene, is called Oxalosis-Calcinosis. It did not present itself until their early adulthood, thus we had many good years of growing up together. The odds for this occurring are up to 1 in a million and it happened twice in our family - my sister and my brother.

The story of bringing my sister home to die, all the magnificent people who helped that become reality, was so full of miracles that I will always cherish those moments. The list is long...starting with a bunch of "sorry, nothing we can do" turning into "yes, we can try..." From co-workers to churches, medical teams and even many strangers, the many acts of kindness proved a caring community could and would make a huge difference in so many lives beyond our own.

I am forever grateful to the crew for the air ambulance who volunteered their time on Thanksgiving Evening, November 27, 1985 - the only crew in the country at the time capable of flying my sister home from California to Texas. It is thanks to so many caring and special people like them for not allowing my sister to die alone in a nursing home so far away from her loved ones.

God truly blessed us by opening so many doors and I am still learning to recognize them all. My heart is filled with gratitude for all that I learned through this experience. What I can give today seems small compared to what I have been given. My big sister taught me so much through life, and in her passing…

Liz, I know some saw your dialysis marks and misjudged you as a drug addict. You stood tall, knowing the truth. I will always admire your courage. I also still giggle imagining the goofy face you told me you gave to some when those stares became too much.

I think one of the most defining moments is when you told me why you could not have a transplant and that you could not waste a donor's kidney. It was the most crushing day, full of tears, yet a pivotal one. I did not want to lose my big sister, my best friend. Yet, I did agree "to make the best of it" and that is what we set out to do. Your decision was a wise one and so unselfish.

It was your love, Lizard, that helped accomplish what others deemed impossible. Such a small part of your life forever changed keep learning how I could apply this love to everything in life. Thank you, my big sister, my Lizard, for showing me how God intended love to work wonders.

So, yes, I will always remember… how her memory is an inspiration to strive to make the best out of all things, great and small.

One of my favorite memories of my sister is when we went to the Houston zoo and came upon the monkey cages. Liz was famous within the family for getting out of trouble by mimicking a monkey. She did this to make mom laugh and forget why she was mad at her. "Smile for a monkey," she would say while puckering her lips out with the goofiest expressions possible. Her ape-like sounds and gestures filled the room with silliness until mom could not hold back her laughter. It worked every time. Well, this day, Liz put on the act for just the right monkey. He was so impressed that he reached his finger out of the cage and motioned for her to come closer. As you may have already guessed, we never let her forget about her new "boyfriend."

There are so many things to say about my big sister to wrap it up here. So, for now, will close this by hoping her memory has others smiling for a monkey.

Cause of Death:
Sudden Death, Instant (heart stopped); Recurrent Dysrhythmias; Primary Oxalosis
Clotted AV Access, Recurrent; ESRD on dialysis; Tertiary Hyperparathyroid Pericarditis

Liz's kidney disease presented in early adulthood. Her doctors first suspected recurrent kidney stones and UTI's. She was later diagnosed with Primary Oxalosis. She also developed a severe form of widespread Calcinosis. This is known as calcium deposits in soft tissues (most noticeable under the skin). At the time, they did not know how to treat or control them, as she was one of the first cases in America and her case was documented in medical books. The lesions that developed were extremely painful and a very ugly sight. As they healed, they were like huge scabs and the depth of them on her abdomen area were so profound seeing deep stages of healing into her skin. The largest one that stood out the most, to me, was about the size of an iPhone, but oval in shape. The rest looked like small pebbles under her skin. For this reason, it was difficult to touch her without causing her more pain. It was the most horrible disease I have witnessed, especially not being able to hold her or even give her a loving hug.

At the end, Liz was bedridden and required nursing home care. She developed Ascites which required frequent draining of excess fluid from her abdomen. Her final days were when her dialysis shunt failed and they had difficulty finding another viable place for it. Liz passed away in the hospital after these surgeries.

*Sadly, her biological father was not there for her, especially when needed most, and not even to attend or acknowledge her funeral. Thus, his family link has now been removed and the family requests this link never be reinstated, as it is disrespectful to Liz's memory that he should benefit from this link.

Biography by Kristi L. Jones
All Rights Reserved
No reprints without permission

All photos are copyright of the Jones, Bubeck and related families, and may not be used on other websites under any circumstances. Please DO NOT copy, download or upload my photos to any website without my permission.
Family links: 
  Pansy Ann Kensler Bubeck (1934 - 2003)
  Elizabeth Ann Nora Bubeck Cadena (1954 - 1986)
  Robert Evo Bubeck (1955 - 1981)*
*Calculated relationship
Katy Magnolia Cemetery
Waller County
Texas, USA
Plot: Block 179, Lot 2, Grave 1
Created by: Kristi L. Jones
Record added: Dec 12, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23362829
Elizabeth Ann Nora <i>Bubeck</i> Cadena
Added by: Kristi L. Jones
Elizabeth Ann Nora <i>Bubeck</i> Cadena
Added by: Kristi L. Jones
Elizabeth Ann Nora <i>Bubeck</i> Cadena
Added by: Kristi L. Jones
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- Angel of Flowers
 Added: Aug. 28, 2016

- Laurie Davis Hannah
 Added: Aug. 28, 2016

- A Golden Girl
 Added: Aug. 28, 2016
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