2022 El "Día De San Juan" Salsa Festival Dedication
Sr. Otoniel (Tony) Acevedo nació en Aguadilla P.R. el 15 de abril de 1952. Originario del Bo. Borinquen de Aguadilla.
Hombre de fé cristiana. Cuarto de un total de seis hijos de la Sra. Lucia López Vega y el Sr. Marcelino Acevedo Rosa. Superdotado durante sus años como estudiante. Amó los deportes, especialmente el softball y beisbol donde se destacó como lanzador. Trabajó para el Departamento de Educación en P.R. por algunos años. Se mudó a California Estados Unifos en 1979 donde trabajó como Trabajador Social en el Departamento de Servicios Sociales del que ya estaba en proceso de retiro este pasado Marzo. En California fundó su orquesta Saboricua de la cual fue su cantante principal. Dicha orquesta de salsa fue famosa y distinguida por toda el Area de la Bahia. Le sobreviven y aman 12 hijos ente ellos María Tita Acevedo , presienta del PRCC of San Jose y Glorimar Acevedo artesana y 15 biznietos. Sus hermanos Rosa Rodríguez y Anibal Acevedo, y un gran nùmero de sobrinos y primos. Othoniel Acevedo padre fue una víctima más de COVID en el 2021. Su familia lo recuerda con mucho amor y lo extraña todos los días.
Rafael Serrano was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He was the second child (of three children) of Rafael Serrano Serrano, and Gladys Gonzalez Serrano. In the early 70’s he moved to Brooklyn, NY, where salsa music influenced his life and at the age of thirteen, he started playing percussion instruments such as, the Maracas, Chequere, Clave and Bongos. In the early 80's Rafy joined the military (Army) and moved to the Presidio in San Francisco where he served as a combat medic. During this time, he also became a serious vocalist for various salsa music bands. Rafy moved back to Puerto Rico where he attended college and received a medical degree. Rafy was a surgeon’s assistant at Forrest Medical Center where he supported surgeons and nurses during operations and/or medical procedures. He thoroughly enjoyed his work! He had a sensitive bedside manner for his patients and was well respected in the medical field. Rafy was proud of his Puerto Rican heritage and proudly became a member of the WRPRC to serve the Puerto Rican community. He often was heard saying; "El “Día De San Juan” Festival" was a wonderful place to be, it’s like a family reunion! He was a remarkable gentleman and a man of faith and honor who professed his Christian love and values in his everyday life. Rafy was a great son, brother, father and grandfather. Rafy was a devoted friend with an enthusiastic sense of humor and was always smiling! He loved spending time with his wife, traveling around the world dancing salsa and enjoyed cheering up his friends with rum and a good cigar!
He was laid to rest in peace on his loving land of Puerto Rico. Today he is resting in heaven! Rafael is survived by his wife Patty Serrano, his five children and six grandchildren.
Rafael will be in our hearts and memories forever.
RIP (9/15/63 - 9/24/19).
On behalf of the WRPRC, thank you for all your contributions to the salsa music community, you both will be missed. Respectfully, the WRPR
TRIBUTE TO FERMIN (MING) PAGAN - one of our Founding Fathers
Born Fermin Colón Pagán... on the Big Island of Hawaii April 11, 1926, Ming was the12th child of Antone and Ramona Colon Pagan.
Shortly after his birth the family migrated to Oahu. At the age of 17 he began working at Pearl Harbor as a machinist. He enjoyed his work and promoted very quickly. Ming may have been a machinist by trade, however, he also mastered in carpentry, mechanics, electrical and plumbing. He would call on these skills to build the first family house on Pahulu Street.
Ming met Carmelita Velles in 1946 and they married in June 1950. Shortly thereafter, he made a brave bold decision to move his young family to the mainland, wanting to raise his sons with all the opportunities America has to offer. He worked for Lockheed 1957 to 1962 during the Mercury Space Program. He retired from Varian’s Associates at age 60 after 24 years of service to the company.
Though he was always active in music, dance and cultural activities, it was in the early 60’s that his pride in his heritage drove him to give back and Ming Pagan became a leader in the Puerto Rican community. He served as President for some 10 years with the Puerto Rican Union of Mutual Aide. He would continue to serve PRUMA throughout the decades that followed in many other positions and capacities.
In 1972 Ming Pagan, along with Jorge Piñeiro and Isidoro Calderón, founded the Western Region Puerto Rican Council. Their vision was to form an umbrella organization to unify the various Puerto Rican social organizations of the western region of the United States into a political action group. They sought to bring economic and social development to their culture. They established relations with state and federal officials. President Gerald Ford dispatched one of his aides to meet with the Western Region Puerto Rican Council, prior to one of his trips to California. Their vision began coming to fruition when in 1974 the WRPRC received $25,000 to fund a cultural heritage festival. The first Día de San Juan Festival held in the western United States was born through these efforts and was held at the original site of Marine World on the peninsula.
He was known by all who encountered him as a man of integrity, with a great sense of humor. By all accounts, Ming Pagan was a great man. Many saw him as a role model for the importance of hard work, success and being courageous in life. He inspired the young to seek a good education and to be involved in cultural events. Although he appeared to be at times quite and humble, in actuality he was very charismatic and those he encountered observed this. Ming loved his family, his heritage and his country. His greatness and wisdom will be remembered through the good works he has performed to improve people’s lives. We honor the man Fermin (Ming) Pagan today by remembering the man he was. We honor him tomorrow by following his example.
Western Region Puerto Rican Council, Inc.
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