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Angelo R. PEREZ

PEREZ, Angelo R., 76, passed away November 16th after a long and courag-eous battle with cancer. Born October 23, 1936, Angelo was a native of Tampa. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Elena (Pitisci) Perez; and his many uncles and aunts. Angelo grew up in Ybor City on 15th Avenue, surrounded by his parents, his brother, Steve, his grandmother, and aunts and uncles. He attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) for grade school and High School (Class of 1954). He earned his undergraduate degree from University of Tampa. He taught at Jefferson High School and Buchanan Middle School. After several years of teaching, he moved to Nashville, TN, and earned his Masters degree from Peabody College of Vanderbilt. He returned to Tampa and taught at Jesuit High School. After several years at Jesuit, he returned to Peabody College and earned his Ph.D. in Social Science. For almost 35 years, he taught at Hillsborough Community College and University of South Florida. While at HCC, he was Dean of Academic Affairs at the Ybor City Campus and became a Ford Fellow. He later returned to the classroom, teaching various history and political science classes. He was a beloved professor and would run into his students all over Florida; they would always stop him and say hello. In 1992, Angelo became interested in the preservation of Ybor City when he helped rescue the Cuban Club from auction. He worked tirelessly to raise money for its restoration by writing preservation grants, whereby the club was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars of desperately needed money. Over the years, he wrote grants for the preservation of the Italian Club, the Italian Club Cemetery, the Cuban Club, and the Marti-Maceo totaling millions of dollars. Angelo was an active member of the Italian Club, Club Unico, the Ybor City Round table, and served on the Florida Board of Historic Preservation in Tallahassee. He received numerous awards, including the prestigious Ybor City Round Table's Sam Leto Award and the Tony Pizzo Award for his many years of public service. But Angelo loved his family more than anything. Nothing gave him more pleasure than talking to and being with his grandchildren. He saw 3 of them graduate from Auburn and enjoyed spoiling the youngest. He was advisor, teacher, and friend to everyone he met! He loved to have coffee with his friends, read, go to movies and the theater, and travel. He took all his children and grandchildren to Europe, and traveled extensively with his wife. He especially enjoyed his visits to Sicily to be with his cousins. His wisdom and wit and his love and companionship will be sorely missed. Angelo is survived by his wife, Derrie; his children, Kathy Dutton (Scott), Joe Perez (Desiree); his stepson, Chad Roark (Laura); and four grandchildren, Clay, Christopher, and Courtney Dutton, and Stuart Roark; his brother, Steve Perez (Catherine Herzog); and nieces, Julie Perez (Matt Torpey) and Christie Perez (Greg Johnson) and their children. He is also survived by many beloved cousins around the country, including those in Santo Stefano, Sicily, where a memorial Mass will be celebrated on the same day as the services in Tampa. The family will receive friends Saturday, November 24, from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm, with a Funeral Mass to follow at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 5225 N. Himes Ave., Tampa. Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins, PA, Pastor Emeritus, will officiate. Entombment will follow in L'Unione Italiana Cemetery Mausoleum. Pallbearers include Joe Perez, Chris and Clay Dutton, Scott Dutton, Chad Roark, Evan Watson and Steve Perez. Honorary Pallbearers include George Ebra, Leo Diaz, Fred Gonzalez, Angelo Spicola, Joe Capitano, Sr., Dr. Norman J. Castellano and the Honorable E.J. Salcines. The family requests in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Historic Clubs of Ybor City, in c/o the Ybor City Round Table, Inc., P.O. Box 75774, Tampa, FL 33675, in memory of Dr. Angelo Perez. The family wishes to thank Dr. Norman Castellano for his medical guidance, care, patience, and friendship over many years. Dr. Castellano made it possible for Angelo to continue enjoying his family and friends for as long as possible, for which we are eternally grateful. A special thanks to Doctors Christopher George, David Echevarria, and Tony Brennan for their expertise and care. In addition, a very heartfelt thanks to the nurses and staff of the 3rd floor of the St Joseph's Cancer Institute for the care, love, and dignity they showed Angelo, our father, grandfather, and husband, in his final months of life. Please send online condolences to www.jgrfuneralhome.com
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Published in TBO.com on Nov. 20, 2012
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