Manuel DeAlbuquerque, 89, a longtime resident of Mount Vernon, NY, passed away at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx on September 8, 2022 from heart disease.
Manuel was born November 15, 1932 in Mareco, Penalva do Castelo, Portugal, son of the late Ana DeLemos DeAlbuquerque and Antonio DeAlbuquerque. He was raised and educated in his home town, then went on to study at Viseu’s Industrial School, thanks to an uncle living in the US, who financed his studies. In 1957, at the age of 24, he arrived in the United States on a student visa. He attended Interboro Institute in Manhattan until June of 1958. Manuel worked in the export industry in New York City for 26 years. Before retirement and with great pride, he worked with his wife at a longtime family owned business, Popular Travel Agency in Mount Vernon.
A deeply devoted family man to his wife, Lurdes, married 51 years, and to his daughters Linda and Diane, Manuel exhibited generosity in all aspects of his life. As a pillar of his family he was responsible for helping to emigrate other family members from Portugal to the United States. He was a loving husband and father. His core values were ideal. He was humble and respectful. His number one priority was his family. He had an ability to learn and teach himself new skills (we say “habilidoso” in Portuguese). In his home he was carpenter, plumber, electrician, painter, gardener and the like. He taught himself how to play the mandolin. He was a worthy competitor; playing Portuguese card games and an outdoor game similar to horseshoes and cornhole was an ultimate pastime.
Manuel felt strongly about his roots. His dedication to the Portuguese American community for over four decades was exemplary. In 1974, Manuel founded the “Escola Infante D. Henrique” for the Portuguese American children in Mt. Vernon/Westchester County to learn how to speak, read and write in Portuguese. He felt the importance that children of Portuguese decent acquire a knowledge of their heritage and the history of Portugal. In 1976, together with other like-minded individuals and friends, he founded and incorporated the Portuguese Civic Association of the State of New York. Through the years he held different positions and worked tirelessly on the Boards of the Portuguese American Club in Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle, the Portuguese American Cultural Center of the Tarrytowns and the American Foundation for the Charities of Portugal. In 1989 he was honored by the Portuguese Civic Association by bestowing on him the “Man of the Year” award. Manuel was also honored in 2018 by the New York Portuguese American Leadership Conference by receiving the Founding-Father Award as a founder of the Portuguese Civic Association of the State of New York. In addition to having great pride in his Portuguese heritage and culture, Manuel felt equally proud to be an American. In 2018, Manuel received a Proclamation from the City of Mount Vernon, honoring him for his contributions to the residents of the city.
His admirable life filled with love of family, friends and community will always be remembered in the hearts of so many who had the honor of knowing him.
Manuel is survived by his loving wife, Lurdes, his devoted daughters, Linda DeAlbuquerque (Robert) and Diane Capurso (John) and cherished granddaughter, Lauren Rose.He is also survived by his brother, Alvaro (Julia), nephews Jose A. Tavares and Antonio Albuquerque (Maisa) and nieces Christine DeAlbuquerque (Paul) and Ana D. Alemao (Gabriel). Also survived by great-nieces and nephews, Vanessa, Matthew & Leah, Catarina & Goncalo, and Bernardo, Rodrigo & Mariana and Godson, Anthony Gomes.
He was predeceased by his sisters, Maria Cristina DeAlbuquerque and Elisa Tavares and his brother-in-law Jose Tavares.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Manuel DeAlbuquerque can be made to the Alzheimers Association at alz.org or to Calvary Hospital at calvaryhospital.org or Calvary Hospital 1740 Eastchester Rd, The Bronx, NY 10461