Ramon Luzarraga, Jr.

Ramon Luzarraga, Jr.
Dec 21, 1930 – Jan 14, 2017

Father of Ramon and Tomas Luzarraga; father-in-law of Julie Torpy Luzarraga; grandfather of Isabella and Javier Luzarraga; brother of Alberto Luzarraga; and brother-in-law of Maria Teresa Luzarraga.  He was predeceased by his wife, Nora Garcia Luzarraga, and his parents, Ramon, Sr. and Evangelina Beltran Luzarraga.

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Ramon Luzarraga, Jr., was born in Havana, Cuba on December 21, 1930.  His parents were Ramon Luzarraga, Sr., and Evangelina Beltran Luzarraga.  He attended schools in Havana, including the Belen Jesuit School.  He completed his high school studies at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania.  He then attended the University of Detroit, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering through their co-op program, working at Wyandotte Chemicals Co. as part of his studies.  Upon graduation in 1953, he returned to Cuba to work for his father, helping to manage Azucarera Luzárraga, S.A., a family firm which owned and operated sugar mills.  He had interests in other lines of business.  This work ended in 1960 with the nationalization of the firm by the Cuban Communist regime.

He met his wife Nora while in Cuba.  They married in Miami in 1961, shortly after their families left Cuba for exile in the United States.  Soon after arrival in the United States, he founded Certifoam, a Hialeah, Florida based foam products company.  Unfortunately, its plant was destroyed in a fire.  High insurance costs precluded his rebuilding the plant.  After, he returned to the sugar refining business, becoming Vice President and Refinery Manager of the National Sugar Refining Company’s Philadelphia refinery.  It was in Philadelphia that his two sons were born.  And, he completed a master’s degree in business administration at Drexel University, graduating in 1971.

The remainder of his professional career was spent working in sugar refining.  He proceeded to serve as refinery manager of the Godchaux-Henderson Sugar Co., as Vice President of Cane Sugar Manufacturing and manager of their refinery in Reserve, Louisiana.  His last appointment before retirement was Vice President of North American Manufacturing for Tate and Lyle, PLC, supervising cane sugar operations in the United States and Canada for their Domino and Redpath sugar brands.

Retirement found him pursuing his hobbies of gardening, maintaining an active reading schedule, and traveling with his wife.  Nora Luzarraga predeceased him in death in 1996.  He continued his hobbies, including extensive travel to Europe with his children and grandchildren.  He moved to Omaha in 2010 to be closer to his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.  A lifelong, practicing Roman Catholic, he attended Mass daily, including at Saint Wenceslaus Parish.  The funeral Mass and burial will be in Miami, Florida.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Saint Wenceslaus Catholic Church school building fund, 15353 Pacific Street, Omaha, NE. 68154.

 

 

4 Comments

  • Jacqueline Torpy Posted January 19, 2017 2:56 pm

    Such an honor to know Ramon and share time with him. He was so loved and will be so missed.
    Thinking of you all with love.

  • Karen Pignotti Posted January 19, 2017 3:26 pm

    I’m so sorry about your loss. May the memories you have of your Dad help make this difficult time easier. He was a great guy. In my thoughts.

  • Jesus and Silvia Capin Posted January 19, 2017 3:34 pm

    Ramon was not only a friend for many, many years.he was another family member. Our condolences to his family, our prayers are with all of you. Rest in peace our dearest friend.

  • Raquel A. Santiago Posted January 19, 2017 7:10 pm

    So many fond memories, and so many great stories. The best Christmas was always a Christmas when the Luzarragas came to visit. The song “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” will forever remind me of my TíoRamon. He was funny, and would sometimes burst into song, but also seemed somewhat serious. He was a bit of a mystery when I was a kid, because he was a dad — with all the responsibilities and perceived gruffness that may entail — but then there was that glimmer, that humor, that playfulness under that elegant surface. The older I got, and moved out of the self-absorption of youth, the more I learned of him. I found him fascinating, endearing, and infinitely important to our family.
    Is it too simple to say “what a guy!” and leave it at that? Because, seriously, what a guy! I am so thankful to have known him; so proud to be his niece. This is a profound loss, but his legacy is great.

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