Sergio Gonzalez, a hero, husband, father, grandfather and friend to many, passed away after a beautiful and adventurous lifetime on June 6, 2018.
Sergio was born in Matanzas, Cuba, on September 9, 1922. There, he met his beautiful wife, Estrella Gonzalez, and they had three children together, Sonya, Diego and Rosa.
As the political climate in Cuba changed, Sergio risked his own life and the life he and his wife built to move with their three children to the freedom of America. He worked for his freedom at a work camp under Castro’s regime, while his wife managed the farm and their family. He would often walk 20 plus miles each way from the camp to home to see his family as often as he could. His love knew no distance for them.
Once he was released and the family arrived safely in the United States with close to no possessions, he and Estrella worked hard to rebuild their life as a family and became American citizens. They raised their children to become successful entrepreneurs and tradesmen.
Sergio loved to tend to his backyard garden, supplying his family and a good portion of the neighborhood with fresh tomatoes each year. He also never missed the chance to take Estrella for a swing around a dance floor, and would often even dance with her from a chair during his final weeks on Earth. He enjoyed Cuban music, cigars, his great hat collection and scratch-off lottery tickets - he often won big more times than his family ever expected.
His life ended peacefully with a final kiss from Estrella after their morning coffee together at home. He then closed his eyes and began to pass, finally letting go when he was sure all of his children were by his side.
Sergio, or Papi as his family lovingly called him, is survived by the love of his life, Estrella and their three children, Sonya Hanson, Diego Gonzalez (Lisa), and Rosa DiVirgilio (Richard). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jonathon and Paul Dean Hanson, Shannon Marshall (Ross) and Jason Gonzalez (Sarah) and Lisa DiVirgilio-Arnold (Jon) and Richie DiVirgilio (Olivia). In addition, he is survived by his great-grandchildren, Bryce and Blake Gonzalez and Matilda and Hazel Arnold.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary Church. Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery. Calling hours are Saturday morning, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home, 411 S. Main St., New Britain. Please share a memory of Sergio with the family in the on line guest book at www.ericksonhansen.com .