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Polk Co. School Teacher
LAKELAND - Rafael M. Aviles, 77, of Lakeland, passed away from cancer, surrounded by his family and friends on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
Originally from Santurce, Puerto Rico and Brooklyn, New York, Rafael has lived in this area since 1971. He was a retired Polk County school teacher; US. Army veteran; member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Winter Haven, where he served on the board and was an usher; and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Rafael was preceded in death by his adoring wife, Rosario, of 48 years. He is survived by his daughter, Frances Raymond, and her husband, Gregory, of Birmingham, Al; grandson, Joshua Raymond of Tallahassee; his loving companion, Cruz Nieves, sister-in-law: Carmen Costa, brother-in-law: Philip Ramirez (Irma) ; and many caring nieces and nephews.
Rafael was a gentle and compassionate man with a sweet disposition who had a passion for music, dancing, baseball, nature, and DIY projects. He was a loving and generous father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He will be missed terribly and remembered fondly.
Visitation will be Sunday at Oak Ridge Funeral Care in Winter Haven from 2 to 4 PM. Funeral Mass will be at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Chapel 11AM Monday. Interment will follow at Florida National Cemetery at 2:00 PM. Condolences to the family can be sent to:
Oak Ridge Funeral Care
2425 Havendale Boulevard Winter Haven, FL 33881
Published in Ledger from June 27 to June 28, 2014