Peña dies at the age of 55 after a short illness at Cedars-Sanai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Peña is survived by her husband Hans and two teenage children, Fiona and Kaelan. Pena’s nephew, Mario-Francisco Robles, writes in the Latino-Review:
I didn’t call her Elizabeth, or Liz, or Leechy. She wasn’t Aunt, Auntie, Tia, or Titi. To me…she was Ñaña. That was the name I assigned my aunt when I was just a baby, and it’s the name I continued to refer to her as when I visited her in Los Angeles last week. She was our star. She was my star. We celebrated her triumphs. We sweated through her struggles. As a family, even when we didn’t always talk, we would all do whatever we could for one another. When I got married 3 years ago, despite their being some logistical hurdles, she flew herself, her husband, and both her kids to attend my special night in New York’s Hudson River Valley. Dancing with her, my uncle, and my cousins under the stars that night is a memory I’ve always cherished, and it’s now one that I’ll have to hold onto for the rest of my life. Tonight, my family is heartbroken. There’s now a void that will never be filled. All we can do now is remember your sharp sense of humor, your endless hunger for life, and your never ending pursuit of happiness. You were a great mother, wife, daughter, sister, and cousin. But you’ll always be my Ñaña, #1 in a category all your own.