Dozens of friends and family members gathered in front the old West New York medical office of Dr. Jose Ramon Roque Abreu, the father of town Mayor Felix Roque, in a brief public ceremony this afternoon.
“My dad was a very humble person, I remember being in Cuba with him and he used to see the patients and he had no money at that time so they used to bring him chickens and a couple of eggs and that used to work for dad, him at that time,” Mayor Roque reflected.
His father passed away on Saturday at the age of 94 after dealing with a multitude of health problems in recent years, including suffering a stroke in 2010, Roque told Hudson County View yesterday.
“And he continued trying to push us to do the best and to inspire us to study because he said to study is the key to getting ahead in life.”
On that point, the mayor also recalled living on the 4th floor of 206 60th St. shortly after moving to this country from Cuba, recalling routinely seeing his father drinking coffee and studying for his medical exams at all hours of the night.
“So that rubbed off on all my brothers and sisters, to become something in this great country. He always said ‘honor this great country because it’s the last frontier, the last resort.’ He said ‘the communists cannot beat this country, if they do, it’s gonna be within.”
Roque also noted that despite the wishes of his mother, his father was still reluctant to charge patients in West New York, working through all hours of the night due to his “quiet, humble and caring” nature.
He concluded by saying that he hopes to see his father’s casket transported to Cuba after the nation is free.
Dr. Jose Roque, who for a time worked at the West New York practice with his daughter Hilda Roque, is also survived by his sisters Aida, Berta and Magaly.
Furthermore, his other children Jose, Luis and Aida are among other immediate family members mourning his loss.
A private funeral service is being held at Morgado Funeral Home in Union City today.
Roque’s mother Hilda passed away last June, just one week after the mayor was indicted by the state Attorney General’s Office for participating in an alleged $250,000 kickback/bribery scheme – though two of the three counts in the indictment were recently dismissed.
The aforementioned events showcase the emotion roller coaster Roque has endured since decisively winning re-election on May 12, 2015, shortly thereafter telling Hudson County View that he was “extremely blessed” his mother lived through the day after she stopped breathing.