Executive Director of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña Remembered
Don Otilio Díaz, executive director of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña in New York City, died Monday, August 21. He was 75. Díaz had no children, but is survived here in New York by a sister and several nieces.
A public memorial will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31 in Room 103 of the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center, located at 1680 Lexington Avenue near 106 Street in El Barrio. Religious services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, September 1 at Saint Cecilia's Church, located on East 106th Street between Lexington and Park avenues. Diaz will then be buried in his hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico.
Otilio Díaz was born in Guayama, near the southern coast of Puerto Rico. He earned a B. A. from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.S. in Educational Administration from Fordham University.
In 1981, Mr. Díaz joined La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc. as its Executive Director. Over the next 25 years, he worked diligently to promote traditional Puerto Rican arts and culture, including folkloric dancing and music - and to welcome frequent visitors from Puerto Rico and other Latin American nations. Intensely proud of his heritage, Mr. Díaz was also instrumental in the agency's acquisition of thousands of books and artifacts from and about Puerto Rico. As a result, La Casa was greatly appreciated by many in the Puerto Rican and Latino community.
The board of directors of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc. has held several meetings to discuss the agency’s future, and will now begin moving forward to implement their Strategic Plan. In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to La Casa’s “Otilio Diaz Memorial Fund.” For more information, visit: www.lacasapr.org.
Editorial by Rafael Merino Cortes at nylatinojournal.com
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