Leonardo "Leo" Fariñas passed away on February 11, 2020. He was born in Baez, Cuba on November 6, 1939, a son of Feliberto and Rosalina Fariña.
Leo married the love of his life, Clara (Santiesteban) Fariñas on January 7, 1960. Leo learned the lesson of hard work at an early age in Cuba. He shined shoes, cut sugar cane stalks, made cigars, was a highway patrol officer and was a soldier in the Cuban Revolution. Bravely, he and his wife moved their young family from Cuba to escape communism. They settled in the United States in hopes of offering their children freedom and opportunity not available to them in their homeland. The value of handwork and sacrifice never escaped Leo. Despite not knowing the language or the culture, Leo found work as a machinist and was able to move his family out of low-income housing, to an apartment, and finally owning a beautiful home in Florida. Additionally, he was able to learn the English language well enough to read the newspaper and communicate with neighbors, coworkers and friends. Leo was a proud man, enjoyed giving people a hard time, and loved his family.
Leo loved baseball. He played as child. Later in life, much of his enjoyment came from watching his son and grandsons play. Some of his fondest sports memories were about visiting Yankee Stadium. He spent every summer evening watching his favorite team, the New York Yankees, on TV. He would recount stories of when Joe DiMaggio or other Yankee greats would train in Cuba. He took great pride in the Cuban players who made it to the Major Leagues.
Leo is survived by Clara, his wife of 61 years; and his children, their spouses and grandchildren: daughter, Idania (Barbara) Hernandez, and her husband, Gabe, their two children, Gabriel and Alex; daughter Clara (Betty) Fariñas and son Joseph; and son Leonard (Len) Fariñas and wife Melissa, their three children Brodi, Brandon, and Sophia. In addition, he is survived by his sisters: Iluminada, Sara, and Reena, all of Cuba.
Besides his parents, he is predeceased by an infant daughter, Yvonne; as well as a brother, Manolo Fariña.
A memorial service honoring Leo’s life will be announced at a later date.
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