Evaristo Jimenez, benevolently known to those who were fortuitous to know him as Varo, has regrettably passed on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 90. Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, in 1923 to Petronila Andino and Francisco Jimenez, he was also sibling to two brothers (William and Pedro) and three sisters (Milagros, Edita and Mercedes).
Varo enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943, commencing his maritime career by initially sailing with the Seafarers International Union in May of 1943. With honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945, he proceeded to expand his maritime profession while acquiring a diversity of skills from 1945-1966; eventually leading to that of assistant engineer.
As an assistant engineer on merchant vessels sailing along the eastern and southern U.S. coasts, his success included as well that of his marriage to Filomena Morales Jmenez in 1949 and his two children.
As a merchant seaman, he worked on foreign coastal as well as inter-coastal vessels. During 1959-1965, his professional endeavors encompassed that of being an oiler for Moore McCormack Lines, A.H.Bull Lines, as well as Seatrain Lines, Inc. Equally as successful from 1967-1980, as assistant engineer, were his positions for Isthmian Lines, Inc., Hudson Waterways Corporation, and Puerto Rico Marine Management, Inc.
During his many experiences and travels, he encountered the transition that America was undergoing as Blacks and Hispanics in the United States were undergoing unnecessary hardship. But through it all, he never wavered from his love of countries – United States of America and his beloved island of Puerto Rico.
On November 26, 1984, having been promoted to U.S. Merchant Marine Officer, he sailed on his final voyage for 41 days at sea from July 20, 1985 to August 31, 1985 with the U.S. Coast Guard. Proudly, after spending 42 years of his life at sea with the U.S. Coast Guard, on February 2, 1989, he received veteran status after having served as an American Merchant Marine. He would be proud of the American Flag that he so earned and will shroud his casket.
Varo will be remembered as the pillar of courage and sacrifice to his family as well as mentor to his two grandchildren. He was a man devoted to his faith, an aficionado of baseball, an avid (but frustrated) Mets fan, and a noble gentleman with a quick smile and embracing heart. For those whose lives he has encountered, we are privileged to have had him accompany us on HIS journey; for we are eternally enriched by the depth and generosity of his spirit.
He is survived by his wife, Filomena Morales Jimenez, his children; Evelyn Jimenez Morales and husband Benigno Morales, Evaristo Morales Jimenez, Jr. and wife Marta Santiago Jimenez, his grandchildren; Larissa Veronica Jimenez and Javier Clemente Jimenez, and his sister, Mercedes Jimenez Blanco.
Lovingly written by Betiz Nogueras Roman