RAUL ORLANDO LEAL (1930 - 2018)

Obituary
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LEAL, RAUL ORLANDO Raul Orlando Leal passed away peacefully at home after a long and brave battle with heart disease at the age of 87 on the morning of April 1, 2018 surrounded by his loving family. Raul was born in 1930 on the 19th of September in the town of Santa Clara, Las Villas in Cuba. The son of Raul Leal and Aurora Guerra, Raul Orlando grew up with a brother Luis and two sisters, Ivis and Clara. Raul was an adventurous young man who by the age of 18 moved away from Santa Clara to begin a life that would be filled with courageous and exciting experiences. At 22 he escaped the revolution in Cuba and returned to fight in the Bay of Pigs with the Brigade 2506, where he was captured and ultimately released. Raul worked in the casino business, a highly successful career that would lead to managing and owning casinos in Curacao, Surinam, St. Martin, and Santo Domingo. A true entrepreneur, Raul started his own retail, farming, arcade, dive shop, and trucking businesses over the next several decades. His interests and passions took him far and wide, visiting 6 continents, and over 50 countries. He taught scuba, hunted, fished, flew helicopters and airplanes, was an avid sailor and talented horti-culturist, and loved all things related to the islands and the sea. Raul was deeply respected by those who knew him as trustworthy and genuine. Profound wisdom gained from his many life experiences was freely shared. Raul treated those around him as equals regardless of station or circumstance. The patriarch of the Leal family and its many branches, Raul enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, and many grandchildren. He enjoyed reading, watching historical documentaries, and spent countless hours playing dominoes with family and friends under the Tiki at their Redlands oasis. He will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved him. Raul was preceded in death by his son Ryan Orlando, and is survived by his equally courageous and loving wife of 46 years Adrianne, a brother Luis and wife Miriam and their son and daughters; Luis, Aurora, and Miriam, his two sisters Ivis and Clara and their children, a son Raul Leal Jr., and his 6 beautiful daughters; Susanna Leal and husband Roger Khouri, Desiree Lapin, Jeanette Rodriguez, Jennifer Leal and husband James Leano, Nicole Leal and husband Tearlach Bigger, and Gabrielle Leal. His legacy lives on in his 17 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. A Celebration of life will be held for family and invited guests. Being such a free spirit, Raul's ashes will be scattered where he loved and always longed to be, over the ocean.
Published in the Miami Herald on Apr. 8, 2018