LORAIN — Angel Rivas remembers his older sister, Roslyn Arroyo, always trying to push snacks and plates of food on her family as they were leaving. She was always open to helping people, he said.
She loved Spanish music, movies and always knew how to make her family and friends laugh, Rivas said. She was a cosmetologist — something she had always wanted to do — and cleaned at a local hotel part-time with her mother.
Arroyo, 49, of Lorain, died Sunday night after being struck by an SUV while crossing Lorain Road at North Ridge Road. The driver did not stop and the vehicle was found Tuesday on 28th Street in Lorain. No charges have been filed and the crash is still under investigation, according to Ohio Highway Patrol.
In the days since her death, the community has rallied around the family, Rivas said, while those closest to her remember road trips to Florida, dancing to ’80s pop and going to the movies.
“She was always laughing, always smiling, trying to jut find the good in any situation,” Rivas said. “We would all tell stories or just doing crazy things, dancing, stuff like that to make sure we were all happy and cheered up.”
Arroyo was the second oldest of six. Growing up, she and her father were known to give everyone in the family nicknames, Rivas said. When he was 4 or 5, he said she named him “Langley the Lover,” for how he wanted attention from all the family, which was later shortened to just “Langley.” Her pet names had nothing to do with anyone’s real names, but stuck with her family for the rest of their lives, he said.
“She had a big heart and she was really a bright soul. Some people just have that in them, just very bright,” Rivas said. “Her smile was something that you would see that and it would make you feel better.”
She kept that smile, even when their siblings played pranks on one another growing up on 34th Street in Lorain. Rivas remembers scaring his five older sisters when they were huddled on the first floor of their house, watching The Blair Witch Project one night, and throwing a frog in the shower with Arroyo — something he did multiple times as a kid.
Her family will remember cookouts and pig roasts on the city’s south side, he said.
She had two sons, Robert Swaskee II and Julian Diaz, whom she doted on. For Robert’s first birthday, Rivas remembers they had a petting zoo — complete with a pony, snakes and other creatures — and she would work extra hard to make sure her children’s birthday parties and Christmases were over the top.
Those grandiose celebrations were passed on to her granddaughter, Aubriella Diaz, 4.
“During that time that they’ve been together, they were like best friends,” Rivas said. “She (Arroyo) would call her ‘gorgeous.’ They would sit there and paint each other’s nails, listen to Spanish music with each other, dance with each other, sit there and cook with each other. The little girl was tied to my sister’s hip.”
Arroyo did not have life insurance or any type of savings, Rivas said, and the family has set up a GoFundMe to help offset funeral expenses. To donate, visit gf.me/u/n5ucq8 or donate at Dovin Funeral Home in Lorain, 2701 Elyria Ave.
Contact Carissa Woytach at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.