Jose L. De La Cruz passed away in his New York City apartment at the age of 67 on Friday October 18, 2019. Born into a humble home in the Dominican Republic, he was a son of the late Leonte and Josefa (Reyes) De La Cruz.
Jose—who was known as Roberto by everyone who knew him personally, and endearingly called “El Flaco” by his closest friends and family—was a life-long educator; a father who ardently wanted the best for his two sons; and a proud, affectionate grandfather.
Jose was a man of strong character with uncompromising conviction towards his ideals, and a person who never allowed his circumstances to determine, prevent or distract from the desired outcomes of his objectives. Ultimately, he lived his life as he chose.
Growing up in a large family living in poverty, he focused his energy on his education, which, to him, was paramount. As a young adult in the 1970’s he was given an opportunity to continue his education in the Soviet Union where he received his bachelors degree in economics from The Patrice Lumumba University. While in Russia, he had some of his most memorable, cherished and formative life experiences. He also traveled through Europe and learned several languages.
After his studies in Europe, he returned to the Dominican Republic, he began his life-long career as an educator. Soon after, he married Thelma (Baez) De La Cruz and became a father. In the Dominican Republic he served as the Head of the Economics Department at the Universidad Tecnológica De Santiago (UTESA) and as an economist for the Department of Agriculture.
In 1991, he moved his family to the United States where he worked as a teacher of special education for the NYC Department of Education. Years later, in 1999, he became a Rhode Island resident where he originally served as a teacher and later as a Special Education Supervisor for the Providence Public School Department.
In retirement, Jose relocated to New York City where he spent his time doing the things he enjoyed most. On several occasions he traveled to many countries in Europe and South America; he read and listened to his favorite songs; and would practice his hobby of computer programming.
Jose is survived by his two sons, Robert De La Cruz and his wife Stefany and Rothel De La Cruz; his two granddaughters, Gabriella and Abigail De La Cruz; and his former spouse Thelma De La Cruz. He is also survived by his sister Francia Rollins and brothers Felix, Tirso, Jesús, Felito, Leito and Evaristo De La Cruz. He was preceded in death by his brother Leonardo De La Cruz.
Visitation will be held on Saturday October 26th, from 4 – 7 p.m. in the Maceroni Funeral Home, 1381 Smith St., North Providence.
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