CABRERA, Rene Emilio, 90, "The Worlds Best Dad," entered into eternal life Oct. 7, 2013, after living an extra-ordinary life on earth. Born in Havana, Cuba, he was one of 10 children born to Emilia Fi and Alberto Cabrera. Rene worked as a chauffeur for former president Fulgencio Batista and was a police officer, before the lure of a better life brought him and his wife, Esperanza, to the United States in 1960. The couple settled in Ybor City. Rene had a strong work ethic and was employed by Coca- Cola, Borden and Wonderbread Bakery, from which he retired. Rene loved America and was so proud when he became a U.S. Citizen in 1977. He also was proud of his wife, children, and grandchildren, and never passed up an opportunity to show off photos he kept at-the-ready in his wallet. Rene loved serving the Lord. His rich, baritone voice echoed through the church when he sang the gospel of Christ. He also served as minister of the Eucharist. He enjoyed playing and watching baseball, movies, reading the newspaper and shopping for clothes and unique trinkets for family and friends. He also took great pleasure in listening and sharing colorful stories. "Que Fenomeno," he would laugh when he found a story particularly entertaining. And he loved to laugh. A consummate gentleman, he took great pride in his appearance. He was always impeccably dressed whether he was going to church, watching television, or even doing chores. Rene was a kind, thoughtful and compassionate man with a calm demeanor who lived a life of integrity. He is not gone, but lives on in his wife of 54 years, Esperanza, his children, Julio (Beatriz), Cloe (Armando), Maribel and Rene; grandchildren Maria-Gabriela and Jarrod; great grandchildren Maya and Makenzie; siblings Angel, Luis, Barbara and a host of other loving relatives and friends. And his beloved parrot, Chico. Visitation followed by a funeral mass will be held in his honor 6 to 8 pm Thursday at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 5225 N. Himes Ave. In lieu of flowers, dad would love if you made a donation to his favorite organization: St Jude Children's Hospital. "Recordar es vivir," hasta que nos encontremos otra vez, Padre.
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Published in TBO.com on Oct. 16, 2013