Publix associates at the Shops of Marco were markedly emotional at the start of the workweek, after learning of the Sept. 8 passing of cashier Adela Medina.
Medina, 44, died of stomach cancer after fighting the disease for eight months. She had been diagnosed in December.
In Medina’s honor, Publix staff assembled a mini-shrine of flowers, a picture of the woman, a tribute and some black balloons which were displayed in the store’s foyer.
During the week, dozens of shoppers stopped to view the simple, but striking tribute. Many were visibly moved.
That was no surprise, said family friend Gabina Duarte, because everyone who knew her regarded her as an extremely happy person.
“She never had a problem with anybody,” Duarte said.
Medina came to the United States from Mexico as a child, Duarte said. She worked at Publix off and on for the past 10 years, first in the deli department and later as a bagger before being promoted to cashier status.
“It’s just so sad,” Duarte said.
Ketly Marcelin, also a friend, said it was a weird feeling to lose her, and that her bubbly personality was what people would remember most about her.
Medina, while undergoing cancer treatment, did make an appearance at the store for a short time two weeks ago. Although frail, she was all smiles as associates made a fuss of her.
The dedication to Medina in the store describes how associates were saddened by the loss.
“She was a loved associate and mother,” it read. “Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. She was a valued associate ... and will be missed.”
Medina leaves her husband David, and four children, Elizabeth (Ellie, also a Publix associate), as well as Victor, Angel and Lola.
Funeral proceedings were scheduled for Sept 12.