Magaly Delgado was ‘living her best life.’ She died in the Surfside building collapse – Miami Herald

Magaly Delgado
Magaly Delgado CBS4

Magaly Elena Delgado was “not your typical abuelita,” her daughter, Magaly Ramsey, told ABC News.

The 80-year-old emigrated from Cuba in 1961, shortly after Fidel Castro came to power, and worked all her life. A “tough grandma,” Delgado sought to ingrain her work ethic into her two grandsons, Chris and Matthew Ramsey — and for that, they idolized her, her daughter said.

“My kids adored her,” Ramsey told ABC. “She’s like, ‘Get up, work, go to church. Let’s be strong. You guys can do it. You come from a strong family.”

On Thursday, Miami-Dade police announced they had recovered the remains of the 80-year-old Delgado, who died in the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Tower Condo Tower South.

When Ramsey saw the mangled concrete and metal up close at the Surfside condo site on Monday afternoon, she thought about her mother — who lived alone on the ninth floor — and silently tried to process what she was seeing.

“As I am there, trying to process the moment, you have people processing by yelling out, mom, or son or their name,” Ramsey told Miami Herald news partner CBS4. “You’re seeing everyone hurting. But it was good to process it.”

Delgado was known for her “strong character,” Ramsey told Bay 9 News, and she “believed in her independence,” according to the Los Angeles Times. After getting a divorce 11 years ago, she jettison her married name, Alfonso, and returned to the surname of her birth, Delgado.

With a name change and newfound sense of independence, Delgado moved into Champlain Towers South, just steps from one of things she loved most — the beach, according to ABC News.

She would occasionally make the roughly 85-mile trip to Jupiter, where her daughter and grandchildren live, Ramsey told ABC News, though on Mother’s Day this year Ramsey insisted they pick her up to bring her to the festivities. Delgado was also looking forward to going to Napa, California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

She was “living her best life” and “loved to go out,” Ramsey said.

Other things that made Delgado’s face light up: Lobster and Elvis Presley, according to the Times. She was also an avid watcher of the popular Netflix series “The Crown,” Ramsey told ABC News.

Before getting the news that her mother’s body had been recovered, Ramsey had hope that Delgado would be found alive, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“If there’s one 80-year-old woman that might survive, it would have been my mother,” Ramsey told the Post.

Miami Herald staff writer Devoun Cetoute contributed to this report.

Profile Image of Carli Teproff

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.

Profile Image of Madeleine Romance

Maddy Romance is a 2021 summer intern at the Miami Herald’s Real Time Breaking News and General Assignment team. She is also the managing editor for The Heights, the independent student newspaper of Boston College, where she is a senior. Maddy was born and raised in Miami.