April 16, 1934 – January 5, 2020
JOSE BETANCOURT, 85, passed away on January 5, 2020 in the comfort of his home.
Jose (affectionately known as Pepe to his family and friends, Papi to his sons and Abo to his granddaughters), was born on April 16, 1934 to father Jose Betancourt and mother Gertrudis (Tula) Lopez in Regla, a town just east of Havana, Cuba.
The central theme of Pepe's life was quite simple: Family. He married the woman with whom he would spend the rest of his life, Carmen Paz, on September 19, 1964. With a young son, Jose Angel, it was a family decision to do what was necessary and seek the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. After years of tireless service and with the help of relatives, the family of 3 were part of the Freedom Flights program. They landed in Miami, FL on June 15, 1971. From there, they would immediately move to Orlando, FL where they would reside for nearly 40 years.
A man who never feared hard work, opportunity came knocking when again, with the help of family, he was employed by the Walt Disney World Company in 1973. Transitioning from the construction side of the park, he went on to become a Maintenance Painter at the Magic Kingdom. For Pepe, known as 'Joe' by his co-workers, it was a grand opportunity. A job where he would be able to provide for his young family and lead him down the path of truly realizing the American dream. Disney World was a place that brought him happiness and it was where he would form many lifelong, meaningful friendships over the years. He was forever proud and grateful for the chance he was given to become part of the fabric of what made Disney special to so many. Retirement came on November 1, 2006, only after the insistence of his younger son (George), so that he may be able to begin enjoying free time with his family.
A new chapter started in 2009 with an emotional move to Charlotte, NC. It was Pepe and Carmen's desire to reside near immediate family. A tough decision, it proved to be quite meaningful as they immersed themselves in the lives of their sons and granddaughters. Until his last day, he never wavered from his top priority: Family. As age and declining health came along, he exhibited incredible strength to be there for everyone, most importantly Carmen. Most recently, it brought him great joy to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day with those he loved so.
Jose will be lovingly remembered as a man of impenetrable family values, strength, honor, kindness and integrity. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carmen, sons Jose Angel Betancourt (Rebecca) of Huntsville, AL and George Alexander Betancourt (Melissa) of Charlotte, NC and granddaughters Amelia, Becca Grace, Grey and Charlotte. These people were the absolute love of his life.
Pepe would also like to pass along a special note of love to Laura Monge, Gwen Carreras-Harriss and Maria Colombani. Together, they provided an extraordinary and loving care and he hopes they forever feel his love in return. He would also like to thank Drs. Patrick McElgunn, Jason Lobo, Walid Eltaraboulsi, Chuck Edwards, Gary Rolband, Barbara Lee and Matthew Verrill along with the caring staff of Hospice and Palliative Care, Charlotte Region for their care and expertise.
The family will receive friends at 12:00pm on Wednesday January 8, 2020 at the McEwen Pineville Chapel in Charlotte, NC. A service will immediately follow. A Catholic Mass will be held in Orlando, FL on Saturday January 11, 2020 at 9:00am with burial ceremony to immediately follow at Chapel Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice and Palliative Care, Charlotte Region.
Online condolences may be shared at www.mcewenpinevillechapel.com.
- Visitation Wednesday, January 8, 2020
- Funeral Service Wednesday, January 8, 2020
- Funeral Service Saturday, January 11, 2020
- Graveside Service Saturday, January 11, 2020
January 7, 2020
Something that I admired about Abo was that he always sent my family cards on Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, etc. He never felt sorry for himself and no matter how he felt on the inside he always showed that he was happy and present. He loved all of us so much and I will always remember him and the opportunities he gave me and my family