Pedro M. Ferreira, age 66, passed away peacefully on November 15th, 2012 surrounded by his family and friends.
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He was born in La Habana, Cuba on June 29, 1946. On March 23, 1962 he immigrated to the U.S. with his younger brother Henry as part of Operation Peter Pan, a United States Department program that managed the exodus of over 14,000 Cuban children to America. Months later, the program relocated him to Delaware, where, through the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, he resided with other Peter Pan boys at the "Casa de Sales" at 1300 North Broom street.
He graduated from Salesianum School and the University of Delaware. He earned Master and Ph.D. degrees from Temple University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Ferreira; his brother Henry and wife Kathy, and his beloved nieces Christine Ferreira and Pamela Ferreira.
A talented and compassionate neuro-psychologist, Pedro touched many in the course of his life and was known for his kindness, generosity and loyalty to his patients, family and friends. His tenacity, integrity, high standards and old fashioned values set him apart.
Pedro was proud to be an American Citizen, was a member of the ROTC and Army Reserves. He never missed an opportunity to give back to his adoptive country.
He served on various local boards including the Salesianum Board of Trustees and helped to establish and volunteered his services to the Brain Injury Association.
He was a sought after bilingual expert witness in personal injury and criminal court matters and often provided pro-bono work for the courts to help disenfranchised minorities.
Pedro used his gifts not only to make a living but to freely provide compassionate aid. After the Mariel boatlift - a mass emigration of Cubans who departed from Cuba's Mariel Harbor for the United States between April and October of 1980, Pedro traveled to a camp at the Fort Indiantown Gap where many were interned and volunteered his services to the frightened and mentally ill housed there.
Pedro realized his dream of returning to his homeland of Cuba on three occasions for nostalgic as well as for humanitarian reasons. Thus, for the sake of the common people who have been so sadly burdened, he embarked on a tireless campaign to end the US embargo against the island.
Pedro will be dearly missed by all whose lives he touched, but will never be forgotten.
Funeral services were held Monday, November 19th at Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Greenville. He was interred at All Saints cemetery. The family request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Salesianum School, 1801 N Broom St, Wilmington, DE 19802.
Published in The News Journal on Nov. 21, 2012