Providencia Paredes, Former Top Assistant to Jacqueline Kennedy, Dies at 90.

Providencia Paredes

Born in 1924, in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, Providencia Paredes first came to the United States while working for Francisco Thomen, Ambassador to the United States from the Dominican Republic. She returned to the Dominican Republic after Thomen’s term ended, and did not return to the U.S. until many years after the birth of her first child, Hector in, 1945.

During her second visit, Paredes was introduced to Senator John F. Kennedy by his personal secretary. Paredes began working for the Kennedy’s in their home. After John F. Kennedy was elected president, Paredes became an American citizen and continued to work with the Kennedys, as a personal assistant to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Throughout her career Paredes accompanied President Kennedy and the First Lady on trips all over the world.

In a 2013 interview with Fox News Latino, Paredes recounted the period of time after Kennedy’s assassination>

But she was unable to accompany the President and his wife to Dallas because of a family obligation.

“It was rare, because they took me all over the country and the world,” she said.

President Kennedy called Paredes before the Dallas trip, asking her to make sure that the First Lady had an outfit that would be light enough for the city’s warm weather. The result was the pink outfit.

Paredes was a confidante, one to whom Jacqueline Kennedy turned when she mourned as a world watched from a distance.

Jacqueline Kennedy, intensely private, let her tears stream in a conversation with Paredes after she returned to the White House at 4:30 a.m.

“We went into a room, just she and I, and she broke down,” Paredes said. “She said ‘They could have killed me too.’ She said she was very afraid.”

After Kennedy’s death, Paredes went on to work for both Robert F. Kennedy and for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She then went on to work for the United States Postal Service. She retired in 1992. Over the years, Paredes maintained a close relationship with the Kennedy family. Her son Gustavo even spent multiple summers with John Jr. in New York. When Jacqueline Kennedy passed in 1994, she attended the funeral and was also named in the former First Lady’s will.

Providencia Paredes died on March 19, 2015 at the age of 90. Her son announced her death on Facebook, adding that Paredes “born in the Dominican Republic and was the first person of Latino descent to work in the White House as part of president’s inner circle.”