Carmelita Guzman-Joenks


Carmelita Guzman-Joenks was born In Chicago, Illinois, the fourth of six children. At the age of 12, her family moved to Belton to be close to an ailing relative.  Her father, however, had to return to Chicago to continue working until their house was sold, and it was a year before he was reunited with the family. During some of that time they lived with their very strict, but beloved, grandmother.  Eventually, the family moved into a house, with a big backyard, on Tremont where their mother still resides.

To ease the difficulties, Carmelita and her siblings spent hours at Nolan Creek.  She said it was a little bit of heaven because in Chicago all they had was an open fire hydrant. Adjusting to the Texas weather and culture was a challenge as well.  With her quick wit, Carmelita stated, “We went from rats and alley cats to cows and crickets.”  Adding, “There were so many crickets we thought the plague was coming.” 

Carmelita graduated from Belton High School in 1982 and earned an Associate degree in Child Development (CDA) in 1984.  She is the Nursery Director at First United Methodist Church and is actively pursuing a degree in Interior Decorating while adjusting to being a single parent.  We predict she will be a successful interior decorator as she has beautifully decorated her own apartment.  Carmelita also assists with arts and crafts at the Belton Resident Center and is very creative with the projects offered to the seniors.

While Carmelita does miss the availability of the museums and markets that Chicago had, she has become accustomed to Texas, and her family’s new roots are in Belton.