Faustino “Tino” Diaz Sr., 79, passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. Tino is preceded in death by his parents, Francisca and Rafael Diaz; daughter Louisa Lassalle; late-wife Willie Ella Diaz; brother Rafael Sepulveda (Ray), daughter in-law Laura Diaz, and his dog “Rock”. Those left to cherish Tino’s memory are his wife, Elinor Morgado Diaz; his children, Faustino Diaz Jr (Junior), Harold “Gee” Diaz, Lynnette Diaz-Miller (LV), Beatriz Diaz, Evelisse Diaz (Eve), Damian Diaz, Joey Diaz, Michael Diaz, and Zaid Diaz; step-children Dixie Beverett, Keith Nickerson, and Paola Morgado, 11 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandson; sister Maria F. Diaz (Mary); daughters in-law, Melissa Morris, Wanda Diaz, Brittany Diaz, Kristina Diaz, son in-law Warren Miller; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and beloved friends.
Tino was born in New York City and grew up on 111th Street in Spanish Harlem. He attended and graduated from Chelsea Vocational High School, where he learned the skills of a tradesman in Lithography. Shortly after high school he married Andrea Diaz, the mother of all of his children. Although they divorced, their friendship remained lifelong. He later moved to New Jersey and met his late wife, Willie Ella Diaz with whom he remained married to until her passing in 2007. The majority of his professional life was as a printer for Barton’s Press and he remained an active member of the Local One Amalgamated Lithographer’s Union. He retired with over thirty years of service. Tino remained very active during retirement, working as a security guard for Pershing, Securitas, and Rutgers University, and participating in civic community organizations. He has received public recognition in 1993 for his dedication and service as a member of the Vailsburg Park Committee, by the City of Newark, NJ Municipal Council. The United States Deputy Sheriffs’ Association named Tino “2017 North Carolina Citizen of the Year”, which is a testament to his selfless service to others.
Tino was best known for being an avid Major League Baseball fan, and was loyal to his beloved Yankees. He grew up playing stick ball on the streets of New York. He played, coached, and managed league softball with his family and neighborhood teams, bar teams in Newark NJ, and the Rutgers University faculty and staff recreational team. He continued to play softball for a senior league in New Jersey, and when Tino moved to North Carolina in 2015 he represented the Cumberland County Senior Club for three years in a row at the Senior Games State finals. He displayed all of his trophies and medals as a reminder of the good old days…but taught everyone that living life to the fullest was essential during this short stay here on Earth.
Another great past-time of Tino’s was enjoying the Casino’s in Atlantic City, playing Lottery, and organizing Bingo at the senior centers both in New Jersey and here in Spring Lake, NC.
In 2015, Faustino Diaz moved to North Carolina to be closer to his daughter after being diagnosed with COPD. He made Spring Lake his home when he joined the senior center and was known to lead Bingo and play pool, and he made his new friends part of his family. He made friends everywhere he went and had a profound impact on those he adopted as mother’s, daughters, sons, brothers and sisters. Everyone was “family” to him.
Tino rededicated his life in Baptism at 1st Baptist Church of Spring Lake in 2016, which is where he met his wife Elinor.
Prior to Covid, he began to experience a decline in health and was disappointed when he was no longer able to participate actively in the sporting events he loved so much. He touched the lives of everyone he met and will be greatly missed. He will join the ancestors in heaven to light up the skies with his laughter, great dancing, softball, pool, ping pong, bowling, joke telling, card tricks, and love. Your presence will be missed, but you will remain in our hearts forever.
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Professional services entrusted to Elizabeth Street Mortuary, Inc.
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