Jorge Sergio Figueredo
January 7, 1939 – June 17, 2020
A great man passed away last week. He was an inspiration to all in his family. Jorge Sergio Figueredo was 81.
Born on January 7, 1939 in Havana, Cuba to Mario Figueredo and Luciana Estela Freire Figueredo, and younger brother of Mario II. He was raised in the city and graduated from the Manuel Marquez Sterling School of Journalism of Havana University in 1958, where he met his love, Lyda Jimenez Perez. They married in 1959 at Our Lady of the Rosary in Vedado, Havana. A year later, before his son, Jorge Luis, was born, he left for New York city to find a job and apartment for his young family, committed to starting a life outside the grasp of the communist regime. He settled in West New York, NJ, where his first daughter, Suzanne was born, and found a job as a clerk at Fritzsche Brothers, an essential oil business. This began his career in the industry, where he started his own successful companies, including Citrop in Tampa.
Soon his family grew and moved to Bergen County, NJ, living in several towns, where Lyda Rose, Liza and Yvonne were born. Within a few years at Fritzsche, he quickly rose to Vice President of Sales of Latin America, and then eager to start his own company, he founded Interbahm, which flourished for many years before he sold it and moved to Tampa in 1982. A few years later he started Citrop, while working with Lyda to start Lyda Realty. They became part of the Hispanic community in Tampa, helping many people own their first homes.
Jorge will always be remembered for the passions in life: his family and baseball. He built his life around his wife, Lyda, his children, and their families. A kind and loving man, Papi was always there for a word of encouragement, a warm embrace, and a good laugh – usually at his expense. He was a father to his nephews and niece, and others who looked for a strong presence in life. As his family grew into the next generations, he became Papay, the caring grandfather, attending all the sporting events and special moments in their lives. He loved playing dominoes late into the evening. He could be found in the stands, the pews, the auditoriums, with his proud smile, Lyda at his side. He cared for her until her dying days. They were together for over 60 years.
As a youth in Havana, Jorge fell in love with baseball, beginning with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1942 World Series. He followed in his father, Mario, and brother, Mario, footsteps and became a sports journalist working at Informacion, the newspaper where his father-in-law, Lillo Jimenez worked. He got paid for watching baseball. Although he became an entrepreneur in the U.S., he pursued his love of baseball, watching baseball games at any chance, especially his beloved Tampa Bay Rays. He studied baseball and specialized in Latin American players, eventually registering at Cooperstown as a baseball historian. He published several reference books on Hispanic players, one of the first to do so. He amassed a collection of baseball memorabilia that overflows into several rooms.
Jorge will be greatly missed but will always be with us. He joins his wife, Lyda, and his daughter, Lyda Rose, who passed before him. He is survived by his children and their spouses, Jorge and Carrie Figueredo, Suzanne and Alan Benaquista, Liza and Greg Gargula, and Yvonne and Jonathon Szponar; his grandchildren Jacqueline, Christopher and Alexandria Figueredo; AJ, Nicholas and Christina Benaquista; Gregory, Michael, Joshua, Jacob and Danielle Gargula; and Jack and William Szponar; and his great-grandchildren, Gianna, Makayla, AJ Luca, Parker and Nathaniel Benaquista; and nephews and niece, Mario and Guillermo and Regina.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 10:am at Christ the King Catholic Church, 821 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33609. Due to COVID- 19 concerns and social distancing requirements, we welcome you to join us via live stream at https://vimeo.com/432236502
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Jorge Sergio Figueredo
Maurice and Nateleen Zinck
June 27, 2020
We are saddened to read about the passing of this wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather . He was a Friend to many and Is certainly going to be missed. Sending our deepest sympathy to Jorge’s family and friends.
June 25, 2020
Jorge was more than my uncle, if anyone can say they had two fathers is me. When Jorge left Cuba and settled in New Jersey my parents, Mario and Regina followed. They took us in until we were able to move on our own. We lived in New Jersey for about 5 years and most of my childhood memories were spending many weekends over at his house playing with my cousins.
Like my cousins, Jorge said, he was always there for us, his smile and kind words were mater of fact, since he was always like that.
Tio, you will be surely missed, and you will always be in my mind.
June 25, 2020
What a great man, we will never forget. I will cherish my memories with him at the ball park and the beach condo! Prayers for your family!!!