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Rolando Gongora

May 1, 1932 ~ December 9, 2018 (age 86)

On December 9th, 2018, Rolando Gongora, loving father, grandfather and great grandfather died peacefully at the age of 86 surrounded by his loving family. Rolando is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dolores, their daughters, Karen and Lisette Gongora, grandchildren, Jeremy Leeming and John Michael Jelliffe, Stephanie Louise and Gabriela Noelle Opper, and great granddaughter, Josephine Stanhope Jelliffe. Rolando was born on May 1, 1932 in Santiago de Cuba. He came to New York in 1954. He married Dolores Pérez on October 26, 1957. Rolando loved his family very much and always put his family first. He was a caring and generous man who never thought twice about helping others. In fact, he was happier giving than receiving. As such, many can attest to his generosity and compassion. Rolando worked for General Motors for over 30 years. GM was his second family. In all his years working at GM, he never missed a day of work. Anyone who knew him knows that eventually the conversation with him would turn to his fond memories of GM and the people who worked with him there. From a young age Rolando LOVED the beach. Once he retired from GM he traveled every summer to PR and spent the summer at the beach. Everyday he hung his hammock between two trees and spent the day alternating between being in the ocean (he loved the strong surf), socializing with the lifeguards, reading a good book, and having a cold beer. Rolando was also known for his great sense of humor. He was never short of jokes, sometimes at our expense. Like the time, not too long ago, when he was rushed to the hospital against his wishes because we thought he was having a stroke. He did not want to go to the hospital and so when the doctor assessing him asked him if he had children, he responded I used to have 2 daughters, one is over there and the other is home. You can send her the bill. Anyone who ever spent any time with him always had a good laugh. Most importantly, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather, whose greatest joy was being with his family and slipping his grandchildren money. He was a genuine person who always spoke his mind without mincing words and someone you could always count on. We were blessed to have him for as long as we did. He is now resting in eternal peace with his son Henry.

Donations may be made to:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856

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