Marcelino Collazo Figueroa

Marcelino "Max" Collazo Figueroa, 88, of Vineland went to be with his Lord on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, surrounded by his family, at the South Jersey Healthcare Hospice Center in Bridgeton.

Born in Jayuya, Puerto Rico, he graduated high school and then attended training at Rodriguez General Hospital, where he graduated as a registered nurse. He then enlisted in the United States Army during WWII, serving as a nurse and physician assistant.

Max moved to Vineland, where he landed a job with Kimble Glass in the scientific department. Then from 1955 to 1979, Max was the first Puerto Rican DJ in Vineland on 1060 WWBZ and received several awards. In 1958, he graduated from General Motors Vocational Education in Camden as a refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic. He practiced his skill from 1958 to 1973 with Authur Lehmann and Sons Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. He continued his education and received several certificates from Thomas Edison College, Atlantic Community College and Atkins College in Columbia, N.Y., and he became a life-skills educator for what is now known as the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), from 1973 to 1992.

In between these activities, Max, Juan Charron, the Rev. Juan Perez and Frank Tejera found the time to organize what is now known as Casa PRAC. It was established to assist the Hispanic community for all needs -- legal, medical, transportation, etc. Max was associated with various organizations for more than 25 years, all to help the Hispanic community. For the past 20 years, he's been vice president of the Cumberland County Board of Social Services.

Max was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather and was always there for his family.

He is predeceased by his daughter, Lilia Esther Collazo.

Max is survived by his wife of 65 years, Luz (Rodriguez) Figueroa of Vineland; three daughters, Brunilda (Bobbie) Scarani of Hammonton, Norma (Carmen) Puccio of Maine and Yolanda (Robert) Wright of Vineland; sister, Antonia Collazo of Puerto Rico; grandchildren, David, Jason and Matthew Puccio, Heather Papiano, Alison Wright and Vanessa Scarani; great-grandchildren, Alexis and Aiden Puccio, Damian McFarland, Riley, Morgan and Henry Papiano; great-great-grandchildren, Elijiah and Nadiya Puccio; sisters-in-law, Justina Herman and Esther Barreiro, both of Vineland, and several nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Iglesia Presbiteriana Hispana Bet-El, 410 S. Fourth St., Vineland. Burial will follow in Siloam Cemetery. Friends will be received on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home 2755 S. Lincoln Ave., Vineland and on Wednesday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to South Jersey Healthcare HospiceCare, P.O. Box 160, Bridgeton, NJ 08302; or to the Iglesia Presbiteriana Hispana Bet-El.

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Published in The Daily Journal on Oct. 22, 2012