Tica Fernández-Montesinos García, poet Federico García Lorca’s last niece, dies at 92 in Aravaca, Madrid

Tica, niece of poet Federico García Lorca, passes in Madrid, leaving behind memories of Spain's literary legend.

Tica Fernández-Montesinos García, known more affectionately as “Tica,” passed away at the age of 92 in Aravaca, Madrid. Born on December 9th, 1930, in Granada, she was the last living witness to the life of her beloved uncle, the iconic poet Federico García Lorca.

Tica was often looked upon to share tales of Lorca’s laughter, gestures, and most notably, his voice—a voice that was lost in August of 1936 and remains unfound to this day.

A Family’s History Touched by Tragedy

Tica was the eldest daughter of Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, a doctor and the mayor of Granada, who was tragically executed during the war, and Concha García Lorca, Federico’s sister. This lineage bore a heavy weight on Tica, especially since she was just five when bullets claimed both her father and her uncle. These events shaped her early life, and she grew into a well-educated, cosmopolitan, and feminist woman. Her resilience shone through as she proudly opposed Franco’s dictatorship. Yet, the wounds inflicted by the 1936 rebels on her family never fully healed.

Names and Memories

Interestingly, while Tica was destined to be named Concha, a twist of fate and family preferences led to her being named Vicenta. “They called me Vicenta because Uncle Federico liked it,” Tica revealed in a 2016 interview with IDEAL. Her childhood memories were painted with vibrant strokes of her time in Huerta de San Vicente. This place, described as a paradise with its stark white walls, green door, and fragrant jasmine, also held the memories of her times with Lorca. She fondly recalled, “Federico was very kind to us children and taught us songs.”

Among the many mysteries surrounding Lorca, his voice stands out. With no recordings available, Tica’s recollections became invaluable. “I remember Uncle Federico’s ‘eses’. They sounded similar to the way they are pronounced in Granada and Málaga,” she once shared with IDEAL.

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From Spain to New York and Back

Tica’s life took a significant turn when her family left Spain in 1940. At the tender age of 10, she sailed from Bilbao to New York, a journey that marked the beginning of a new chapter for the family. This exile, their subsequent efforts to rebuild their lives, and their eventual return to Francoist Spain in the 1950s deeply influenced Tica’s progressive spirit.

During her time in New York, Tica attended several progressive institutions, including Middlebury College in Vermont, Joan of Arc Junior High School, and Dalton High School in New York, before finally settling in Bennington College in Vermont. Her return to Spain in 1954 was definitive, and she made Madrid her home since the age of 24.

A Graceful Farewell

Tica’s final moments were peaceful, surrounded by her children and grandchildren in Aravaca. Even in her last years, after overcoming COVID and other health challenges, she remained mentally sharp, as those close to her attest.

In the end, Tica Fernández-Montesinos García-Lorca’s departure signifies the loss of a crucial connection to the past, to the world of Federico García Lorca. She takes with her the memories, stories, and voices of an era. May she rest in peace.