Carmen Alicia Laufer died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, November 5, 2023. Daughter of Alicia Ocasio and Angél Portalatín, she was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 12, 1934.
Carmen showed an affinity for dance and music at an early age and studied both piano and dancing in San Juan and New York City during her youth. Under the stage name Carmen Alonso, she performed in many of the iconic venues of the 1950’s including New York City’s Copacabana and the Tropicana in Havana, Cuba. A renowned Flamenco dancer, Carmen, with her partner Gume Carmona, were the opening act for Frank Sinatra and his orchestra during a tour of Latin America and the Caribbean in the mid-1950’s. She was the archetype fiery, sultry Latin woman-beautiful and very charming, she had acquaintances and connections of all types, from European royalty to individuals on the right side, wrong side, and above the law. She was part of a jet-set show business lifestyle that allowed her to see the world.
She met her future husband, Dr. Guillermo Laufer, following a performance in Chicago. They married in 1961, and Carmen retired from show business. The two remained inseparable until his death in 1984. Together they raised three children in suburban Chicago. She started a career in health care and relocated from Chicago to Las Vegas, where she remained for 25 years before moving to the east coast to live with her youngest son, Milton.
Carmen is survived by her daughter, Ivonne Laufer, son, Milton Rubén Laufer, daughter-in-law Marina De Ratmiroff, and granddaughters Roxanne, Heather, Carmen Lucia, and Veronika.
She was preceded in death by her adoring husband, Guillermo Laufer, and her eldest son, Aldo Arturo Laufer.
A Celebration of Carmen's life will be held privately.
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