The memorial services are set for former Jersey City Fire Department Battalion Chief Jose Cruz, who passed away at his home in Florida last month.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
A public memorial service and procession will be held on Sunday, December 11th, at 10 a.m. at the Farrier Memorial Statue in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park.
Cruz died on November 19th in his Orlando, FL home at 68 years old. No additional details were immediately available.
“Jose was a great public servant and an inspiration to all of us. He was a humble hero, who put the needs of others before his own every day, on the job and at home,” Candy Cruz, the wife of Jose, said in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by his loss, but we are proud of him and we celebrate his tremendously accomplished life.”
Jose Cruz, who was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, joined the Jersey City Fire Department in 1981, rising to the rank of captain and battalion chief. He also served as deputy director and public information officer for the department from 2001 to 2004.
He was also a graduate of Ferris High School, where he excelled in track & field, leading the team to a state championship.
Furthermore, Cruz was also a champion amateur boxer, winning Diamond Glove and Golden Glove championships as a middleweight. member of the U.S. Boxing Team and competed in Europe and the Soviet Union.
Cruz was part of search & rescue teams working at the World Trade Center site after the September 11, 2001 attacks and traveled to Haiti and Puerto Rico on rescue and recovery missions after natural disasters.
In addition to his professional achievements, Cruz, who held a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science from New Jersey City University, was an advocate for diversity in fire departments as president of the Hispanic Firefighters Association.
Cruz is survived by his wife of 41 years, Candy; sons Jose, Jr. and Lance; granddaughter Alia Isabella; brothers Rafael, Roberto, Jorge, David, William, Augustine and Jason; sisters Elizabeth, Madeline and Diana, and his mother, Isabel.
I had known Jose since grammer school and high school. We grew up in the same neighborhood in Jersey City. Jose was always a gentleman, respectable, humble and a great Friend. All through the years as a firefighter we attended Christmas parties at the Fire Director Roman’s home, we talked about back in our days how Jersey City was changing, loss of friends we grew up with and on and on……..After Jose and wife moved to Florida, we kept in touch through social media with his boxing academy pictures, training young boxers and trophies…… A Great Loss! Gone too Soon! May his soul rest in paradise😔🙏🏽🖤