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Miriam Rose Ballesteros was born on the 12th day of June 1975, at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, to the continually growing family of the Rev. Leonard and Nancy Ballesteros. She left us Feb. 3, 2021, after courageously fighting COVID-19, the last and final health battle of many she bore with unflinching grace throughout her life. A memorial service will take place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13, in the main sanctuary of First Baptist Church of DeLand. Miriam was preceded in death by her father, Leonard, and sisters Laricka and Mia. She is survived by mother Nancy; siblings Len, Tim, Stephen, Dave, Paul, Terry, Ya'Tirah, Alyssa, Rebecca and Nadia; and her many beloved nieces and nephews. Raised in Ridgewood, attending Emmanuel Baptist Church, getting her education, and then graduating from Paramus Vocational School with a focus in horticulture, Miriam proceeded to blossom into the dynamic person that charmed many. As she traveled extensively with her parents and family, she made immediate friends with her consistent ability to live in the present, while reminding us of the fundamental human instincts of love and kindness. Moving to DeLand in 2004, Miriam continued to nurture a vast network of new friends. Of her many life accomplishments, she was a competitive athlete in the Special Olympics, and excelled in track and basketball, winning numerous medals. She was an enthusiastic participant at the annual Green Lake Baptist music conferences in Wisconsin, shining her light in talent shows and adding her voice to many choruses. She was a welcome volunteer at Shoestring Theatre in Lake Helen, ushering many shows. She was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ, as an active member of New Covenant Baptist Church, while also sharing her faith with First Baptist Church, as well as First Congregational of Lake Helen. Most importantly, Miriam honored her Mom and Dad by helping to raise many siblings while still having plenty of love left over for all of her nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. She amazed everybody by never failing to remember the many birthdays, anniversaries and major life events that are part of a large family. Her family, and all who were fortunate enough to spend even the smallest amount of time with her, experienced "The Magical Miriam Effect," accepting the moment with pure love and joy for the beauty of the earth, of the animals, and of people. If someone needed a smile, she gave them one of hers. She loved to sing and dance in her room to the music of her favorite boy bands. She loved musical theater, and brought the rock to many rock 'n' roll concerts. Miriam would hoot and holler in support of her favorite sports teams, joining her dad and mom, especially with and for her brothers during many Stetson baseball seasons. "Go, Hatters !!!" Miriam would make a joyful noise for the God she loved and worshipped faithfully. Her hugs were big, her kisses bigger, and her smile and laughter infectious. She will be missed by all who knew her. Let us celebrate and honor her by practicing what she so effortlessly exemplified. "Live Like Miriam, Love Like Miriam." In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New Covenant Baptist Church building fund, 1030 Torchwood Drive, DeLand, FL 32724.