January 02, 1916 - September 10, 2022
Place of birth
Most recently lived in
Fort Myers, Florida
Abelardo's favorite hobbies
Dancing, Old Westerns
Abelardo's favorite foods
Peruvian Cuisine, Italian and Asian
Favorite bands and musical artists
Tangos by Carlos Gardel, Big Band Jazz, Peruvian folklore
Abelardo “Eche” Echegaray was born in Huacho , Peru to Teodolinda Rosales de Echegaray and Jose Medardo Echegaray on January 2, 1916 . He would be the oldest of seven children.
He learned responsibility at a very early age as his father was often absent from home. He helped support his mother and siblings by shining shoes at the age of 13. This was the beginning of a worth ethic that he followed throughout his life, finally, and fully retiring at the age of 98.
A gifted student, he earned many scholarships that enabled him to complete his education majoring in accounting.
Jovial, charismatic, charming and empathetic , he made many lifelong friendships throughout many continents and countries.He possessed a gift for learning languages and was able to converse in six languages with ease. As a young man he was a gifted athlete, competing in marathon distance swimming and his favorite, hobby ballroom dancing.
A lifelong devout Catholic, he belonged to the brotherhood of the Señor de Los Milagros, and Fray Martin de Porras Latin American Icons and Saints. E Family legend has it that he credits his mother Teodolinda’s , praying the rosary during the procession of Señor de Los Milagros, while his son, Michael was very ill with saving his life.
Coming to the United States on a scholarship in the late 1940’s, to study public finance, representing the party in power at the time in his homeland, he was forced to seek asylum because of a military coup that unseated that government he was going to serve in and probably putting him at great risk for imprisonment or worse.
He proudly served in the Air Force reserve as he awaited his citizenship status, and fell in love with Loretta Tavenner, marrying her, and eventually having three children. Unfortunately, the union was not to last and following the divorce he and his three sons returned to his native Peru in 1959.
He found employment with Panagra Grace Airways, and following the merger with Braniff continued there as his main career for 30+ years. During that time in Peru he was responsible for attending to VIPs and public relations. Yearning to return to the United States he accepted a transfer , accepting an inflight service position in Miami, Florida returning in 1965. He retired shortly before the original Braniff declared bankruptcy in May 1982.
That retirement was very short-lived, and he joined Argenbright security screening passengers at Miami international airport until he transferred to the Orlando branch in the early 90s. He retired once again only to return to work as a greeter/bagger at Albertson’s and later Publix, where he was often the employee of the month .
He ultimately retired at 98 after a brief illness.
He is survived in this life by his three sons, Michael, Jeff and Steven along with their spouses and significant others, as well as his beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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