Mrs. Ernestina Miheve, 81, passed away on March 14, 2009.

Tina was born to Frank Paez and Mary Hilliard, their 12th and last child, in Driscoll, Texas, on October 22, 1927. She attended school in Edinburg, and later moved to Mexico City, Mexico, where she lived for over 20 years. She was a widely-known performer both in movies and on-stage, but gladly gave that up to care for her beloved sons, David and Richard. After moving to Washington, D.C., she married (then) USAF Capt Greg Miheve and remained his wife until her death.

Tina was a friend to all who knew her, a wonderful homemaker and cook who always gladly prepared dinner for unexpected guests. She epitomized the most-prized personal quality the Spanish call “GRACIA”: love, caring concern, friendship, loyalty, and welcome to everyone she met. She shared a dinner seated next to the President of Mexico and later with her caregivers at the end of her life, and was loved by all.

Tina was one of the great heroines to the Cuban refugees of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, finding family, jobs and sponsors for many. She literally rescued several refugees from life-threatening situations in the refugee camp.

Her parents, all her brothers and sisters, and her son, Louis Richard, predeceased her. She is survived by her husband, Greg; her son, David Canales and his wife, Shelley; grandsons, Christian and Morgan Canales; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2009, at Davis-Watkins Funeral Home, 8 NE Racetrack Road, Fort Walton Beach, FL, with complimentary valet parking. The Traditional Tridentine Latin Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St Mary Catholic Church on Friday, March 20, at 11:30 am, 110 SW St Mary Avenue, Fort Walton Beach, FL. The Rev. Father Hector R.G. Perez, S.T.D., Pastor of St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in Pensacola will celebrate the first Mass in the Traditional Latin Tridentine rite celebrated here for nearly a quarter of a century. Interment will follow at Beal Memorial Cemetery.

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