Obituary of William Velazquez
William Velázquez Santiago, aged 87, entered into eternal rest on the evening of April 19, 2020, in Bound Brook, New Jersey. He passed away quietly in his home surrounded by his daughters Elba and Miriam three weeks after being diagnosed with acute leukemia. William was born in the Arenales section of Isabela, Puerto Rico, on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1932. The oldest of nine children, he attended the local public school until 7th grade. At twenty, William emigrated to Manhattan, New York City, where he worked in a factory and met his future wife Rosa Hernandez Rosado. They wed on June 29, 1957 at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Roman Catholic Church in New York City. Shortly thereafter, William and Rosa moved to Newark, New Jersey, where they bore and raised their six children and remained there until 1991. William and his family were active parishioners of St. Augustine Church in Newark, and he financed his children’s Catholic school education. He held several factory jobs working as a machine operator. One such factory was the Newark Stanley Tool Company where his ability to hear well was permanently debilitated from the constant hammering of the fabrication of industrial tools. In the 1970s William worked as an elevator operator in the Empire State Building in New York City. In 1991, the family moved to Jersey City and lived there until Rosa’s death in 1994. Soon afterwards, William returned to Isabela, Puerto Rico where he lived in retirement until the year 2000. In that year, he moved to Bound Brook to care for his physically challenged daughter Margarita until she wedded. He also babysat for three of his grandchildren. William then resettled with his daughter Elba in Bridgewater, New Jersey, in 2010 and then with his son Raúl in Bound Brook in 2017. For almost twenty years William participated in the religious services at the Salvation Army in Bound Brook and in the last two years of his life Iglesia Cristiana Vida Integral, also in Bound Brook. He attended New Life Adult Day Center in Somerset, New Jersey, and the Somerset Adult Day Center in Bridgewater where he enjoyed the company of loving friends, related stories of the old days in Arenales, and told jokes just for the joy of making his friends laugh. William was also an avid walker, coffee drinker, and origami boat builder and was eminently proud of his Puerto Rican heritage. One of his unforgettable expressions is “¡Cuándo te preguntan de dónde eres, y dices ‘Yo soy de Puerto Rico’, quítate la gorra y ponte derecho!” He would then stand straight and execute a proper salute! William made wondrous observations of the day by declaring in awe “How beautiful is the day!” or “How lovely is the evening!” Christmas family gatherings were a treat for him because it gave him the feeling of youth as he merrily interacted with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. In his youth he was a New York Mets fan. He loved to watch Animal Planet and was fascinated by and read voraciously on the history of World War II. Indeed, family and friends lovingly remember him as sensitive, caring, and young in spirit! His children and grandchildren will always remember his customary paternal blessings given with a kiss: “¡Qué Dios te bendiga y te acompañe!” and “¡Qué Dios te proteja de todo mal!” William is preceded in death by his loving wife Rosa Velázquez of 37 years, his sisters Odilia and Iris Velázquez Santiago, and his brother Heriberto Velázquez Santiago. He is survived by his sisters Alicia, Esther, and Gloria Esther Velázquez Santiago, his brother Enrique Velázquez Santiago, his sons William Jr. and Raúl Velázquez, his daughters Rita Victoria, Elba Iris, Miriam Teresa Velázquez, and Margarita Astorga, his grandchildren Elsie, Ricardo, Angel Luis, and Miguel Antonio González, Máximino Jr., Amaryllis, and Rosa Andrea Áviles, and Abraham Jeremiah Astorga, and his great grandchildren Joshua and Elijah Ortiz, Gia Yazmine Checo, Naila Lola Watley, Kaiden and Jasleen González, and Asher Giovanni González. He is greatly missed by his family and friends at the adult day centers and his church community. ¡Te queremos mucho Papi! ¡Siempre estarás en nuestros corazones! Ahora nos toca a nosotros darte la bendición: ¡Qué Dios te bendiga y te acompañe! ¡Qué te proteja de todo mal! (¡un beso grande!) A memorial service attended by close family and friends was held for William Velázquez at La Iglesia Cristiana Vida Integral in Bound Brook on Saturday, August 29, 2020. He is interred in Monte Cristo Memorial Park in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
A Memorial Tree was planted for William
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hagan-Chamberlain Funeral Home