Miguel Ricardo Alvarez, 82, of Clifton passed away on January 22, 2021 at 2:02 am, after a brief struggle with Covid-19 and its accompanying viral pneumonia.
The youngest of six siblings, Mr. Alvarez was born in Camagüey, Cuba, to Avelino and Obdulia Alvarez. He was raised in a small town called Cespedes, in the province of Camaguey, in the central plains of Cuba. There he attended school, worked with his parents in the town bakery and as a very young man helped the family expand into distributing soft drinks regionally. As his mother described his day: it consisted of waking before dawn, traveling to school for an education, followed by work into the evening, and the occasional carousing. His interests in business lead him to achieve the equivalent of an Associate’s degree and to complete his training as a book keeper while working in the family businesses. Along the way, he met and married Carmen Baez and began his own small family.
The overthrow of Batista on January 1, 1959 and the revolution of Fidel Castro led to many changes in Cuba; seizure of the Alvarez family businesses and several arrests (basically harassment) for questioning. Undaunted, Mr. Alvarez continued the daily grind to provide for the family.
When it became apparent that the family would not be able to prosper in Castro’s Cuba, the Family decided to seek a better life in the United States. This process entailed harassment by officials, deprivation, and a 4 year stint in what was locally known as “La Agricultura”. Essentially, a forced labor camp, where those who wanted to migrate were taken from their families and were “encouraged” to work for the state, while waiting for the approval to migrate.
Seeking a better life, Mr. Alvarez brought his family to the United States on March 5th, 1971, living in New York City initially and establishing himself as a superintendent of a building as well as developing a freelance plaster and tile business. After being approached by a close family friend with an offer to help him establish a local business, Mr. Alvarez moved his expanding family to Hato Rey, Puerto Rico where he acquired a bakery named “El Escorial”. The Alvarez family lived in Puerto Rico from 1980 to 1987.
Mr. Alvarez and his family then moved to Passaic, NJ, in 1987 where he established himself as local business man and bought a small supermarket on Monroe Street in Passaic. After several years, he divested himself of this business, finally settling in Clifton, NJ in 1999. Although technically retired, Mr. Alvarez continued working non-leadership positions mostly to occupy mind and body and to make his hobby, Cuban Dominoes, more interesting.
Miguel Ricardo Alvarez was a steadfast and decisive man. A true patriarch and pater familias in the classic sense. He was always there to listen to others and to help them in any way needed. For many years, along with his beloved wife, he guided his children, grand-children and basically any one that needed him, through good times and bad and showed by example how to be an honorable man.
Mr. Alvarez was predeceased by his loved and missed parents, Avelino and Obdulia (nee Lopez) Alvarez and by a dear sister, Ana Maria Borges.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Carmen (nee Baez) Alvarez, of Clifton; by his three loved and devoted children: Ricardo Alvarez and his wife, Nancy, of Little Falls, Luis M. Alvarez and his wife, Melina, of Clifton and Nancy Flores and her husband, Ramon E. Flores, also of Clifton; by four dear sisters: Josefina Santin, Maria de las Nieves Alvarez and Alicia Alvarez, all of Pembroke Pines, FL and Maria del Carmen Stancic of Bloomfield; and eight cherished grandchildren: Ricardo Alejandro Alvarez, Elisa Maria Alvarez, Daniel Antonio Alvarez, Addison Grace Alvarez, Mia Carmela Alvarez, Luis Antonino Alvarez, Leslie Elizabeth Flores and Ramon Luis Flores.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday January 29th at 11:00am at St. Paul RC Church, cor. Union Avenue and Second Street, Clifton. Please meet at church. Arrangements through Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Avenue, Clifton.
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