CARMEN GUEVARA NEUBERGER
1935 to 2018
Carmen Guevara Neuberger, age 83, died on September 5, 2018 in her Alexandria, VA home after a courageous, 8-year struggle with cancer.
Carmen was an accomplished leader in higher education, world traveler, artist, and devoted mother, grandmother, and friend. Her optimism, generosity, kindness, intellect, creativity, determination, beauty and legendary energy inspired all who knew her.
Born Carmen Emilie Guevara on January 5, 1935 in Manila, Philippines, she was one of three children of Santiago Garcia Guevara and Carmen Rodriguez Fernandez. Carmen grew up during WWII and the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Living in Baguio where her father was Commandant of the Philippine Military Academy when the invasion started, Carmen escaped with her mother and brothers under blackout conditions and went into hiding. Her father was captured and held as a prisoner of war after surviving the Bataan Death March.
At 14, Carmen and her family migrated to the U.S. At 20, she earned her bachelor’s from the University of Maryland, where she was President of the Associated Women Students. She married Jack A. Neuberger, a U.S. Army officer and West Point graduate. The quintessential mother, she formed her daughters’ Girl Scout troops, sewed their clothes, and shuttled them to dance, piano, music, basketball, softball and swimming.
Carmen was foremost a loving mother and matriarch. Her 5 daughters and their families, including 7 grandchildren, were her pride and joy. She was their strongest, most enthusiastic and dedicated advocate, always eager to share the latest news about her clan. She faithfully attended family celebrations, performances, graduations, award ceremonies and sports games.
In the 1970s, with her kids in high school and college, Carmen launched her 30-plus-year career in higher education, starting as a secretary at American University (AU). In 4 years, she earned master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education, and was promoted to AU Dean of Students. She went on to earn her J.D. at the Washington School of Law and pass the DC bar.
Carmen later was named Vice President of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. She returned to DC to serve as Executive Director of the American College Personnel Association, Visiting Professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education, and Founding Director for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. For almost 20 years, Carmen served on the Board of Trustees of Western New England University in Springfield, MA.
She encouraged her family and students to pursue excellence in higher education and any opportunity to learn by traveling—a passion Carmen pursued, despite health challenges. Her sense of adventure and insatiable curiosity took her to six continents. She eagerly shared her ever-expanding appreciation of other cultures and peoples. Carmen recently traveled to Alaska with her youngest grandchild, honoring her vow to take her grandkids on trips of their choosing.
She was dedicated to equality, tolerance and respect, including advancing women’s rights. Carmen’s many friends and far-reaching interests fueled her spirit and kept her busy with book and social clubs, painting classes, and singing with the Alexandria Encore Chorale.
Carmen inspired all during her heroic struggle with cancer, turning an 18-month prognosis in 2010 into nearly eight years of living life to the fullest. Despite difficult treatments, she displayed uncomplaining dignity, grace, strength, perseverance, quiet courage, boundless hopefulness, and humor.
Carmen is preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Santiago G. Guevara, Jr., of San Jose, CA, and Nick James Guevara of Washington, DC.
Carmen is survived by daughters Catherine (Carrie) Neuberger, Cynthia Neuberger Brooks, Carmen Neuberger, Christine Neuberger Amrhine; and Mary Jo (MJ) Neuberger; partner, John Molino; former husband Jack Neuberger; grandchildren Alexandra (Ali), Danielle (Dani), Michael, Andrea (Andy), Megan, Chardon, and Nicholas (Nicky); sons-in-law Pat Transue, Greg Wellins, and Richard Amrhine; nieces and nephews and their families; and other relatives and friends.
Friends may call at the DeVol Funeral Home, 2222 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Wash., D.C. 20007, on Friday, September 21 from 6-8pm (complimentary valet parking available). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at The Basilica of Saint Mary, 310 South Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314, on Saturday, September 22 at 10:30am. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
Donations may be made in Carmen’s memory to support Dr. Ursula Matulonis’ Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or at https://www.dana-farber.org/how-you-can-help/ways-to-give/make-a-memorial-or-tribute-gift/.