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Baldwin-Fairchild Winter Garden Funeral Home

428 E Plant ST, Winter Garden, FL

OBITUARY

Miguel Dones

February 18, 1935February 1, 2020
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Angel Dones-Rud, a baker, and Antonia Perez, a seamstress, welcomed their firstborn son, Miguel Angel Dones, on February 18, 1935 in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Over the next twelve years, Angel and Antonia (“Toña”) welcomed five more children into their Puerto Rican home: Auriel, Orpha, Suni, Gersom, and Abigail. Due to economic conditions which prevented him from securing steady employment, Angel moved his family to New York in 1947. They travelled by ship to New Jersey; it was no easy task since Abigail was only a baby. They then settled in the Bronx, New York City. After relocating to New York, Angel and Antonia welcomed three additional children: Ismari, Simri, and Deborah.

As a child in Puerto Rico, Miguel enjoyed fishing and swimming in the rivers and beaches. In fact, he often skipped school to go fishing. However and quite importantly, he loved to listen to his uncles, Florentino and Chane, play their music. This early love of music later influenced the entire course of his life.

After some time living in New York, Angel purchased a used acoustic guitar for Miguel. At the age of fourteen, he taught himself to play by listening to the radio and remembering how his uncles played back in Puerto Rico. Miguel was especially fond of country music, particularly Hank Williams, Ricky Skaggs, and Buck Owens.

Miguel attended Samuel-Gompers Vocational and Technical High School where he and Auriel were the only Hispanic students. Outside of music, he enjoyed baseball, handball, and tinkering with electronics and mechanics. Miguel graduated in June, 1954, with a degree in Radio Vocational Studies. After high school, he was a part of the Thompson (Phillips) Electronics team that discovered the microwave oven. Additionally, while at Thompson Electronics, he was part of the team contracted by the government to create underwater jet propulsion. Miguel was an expert in refurbishing electrical appliances. He utilized his electrical and mechanical knowledge throughout his life in a variety of ingenious ways.

Miguel’s life-long passion, however, was for music; particularly sharing his love for God through music and worship. Around 1954, Miguel began playing the lap steel guitar, which was not a common instrument for Hispanics. He became well-known within the Spanish Christian community for his Gospel music featuring the lap steel guitar. Additionally, the pioneering bands of which he led introduced drums and electric guitars as well into the church… a move that was radical at the time. During his 60 year career as a worship musician, he played the guitar, lap steel guitar, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, piano, and percussion. Miguel played country Gospel music, “trio” style music and he enjoyed rock and roll.

Miguel had his own recording studio where quite a few artists were able to record. He played for many Christian artists, including Deborah Velasquez, Merari Castro, Carmen Virginia Sanabria, Victor Lattimer, David Ortiz, Mickey De Jesus, and Carmen Valez-Dueño. The Dones family also created their own well-known worship group, Los Dones, of which three of the five brothers were members: Auriel, Simri, and of course himself. In the early days of his band career, his sister Suni was a member and sang as well.

In 1961, Miguel met Helen Bonilla at the church, “Iglesia Roca De Horeb” in Brooklyn, NY. After a year of courtship, they married on June 16, 1962 at the church. The residing pastor, Felix Ramos, performed the ceremony. The new couple had three sons: Michael Dones, born May 1963; Robert Dones, born July 1968; and Richard Dones, born June 1969. All three sons inherited their father’s love of music and often joined him as he ministered in worship. Miguel and Helen moved to Florida in 1989 where Miguel continued to serve God through music. Their sons followed them to Florida within the next decade. The family eventually grew to include eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

In 2007, Miguel was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2012, the disease robbed Miguel of his ability to worship God through music; he no longer had the ability to play his beloved instruments. From that time on, the disease progressed until it eventually claimed his life on February 1, 2020, just two and a half weeks shy of his 85th birthday and less than five months from his 58th wedding anniversary. Regardless of all the pain and suffering, Miguel maintained his love of music. Even during his final months, he attempted to hum or play guitar when he heard music playing.

His family rejoices in the knowledge that Miguel is now fully healed and playing in God’s celestial band. The legacy of Miguel Dones will continue on, despite his physical death, and he will always be known for his love and passion for music.

  • FAMILY

  • Miguel is survived by his wife Helen, sons Michael Dones,Robert Dones, and Richard Dones, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, February 7, 2020
  • Funeral Service Friday, February 7, 2020
  • Graveside Service Saturday, February 8, 2020

Memories

Miguel Dones

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Jackie Dones

February 10, 2020

Blizardo,
You were an amazing father-in-law and grandpa. Thank you for loving me and the boys the way you did. You didn't say much or was not very lovey dovey but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that you loved me. Thank you for calling me Blizardita, because that made me feel super special. And I love that George and Oscar the nicknames you gave them had you as their grandpa. They only had one grandpa and they had the very best. You will be so missed, but I am so happy at the assurance that I will meet up with you again. Blizardo, I love you very much.

Jackie Dones

February 10, 2020

Blizardo,
You were an amazing father-in-law and grandpa. Thank you for loving me and the boys the way you did. You didn't say much or was not very lovey dovey but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that you loved me. Thank you for calling me Blizardita, because that made me feel super special. And I love that George and Oscar the nicknames you gave them had you as their grandpa. They only had one grandpa and they had the very best. You will be so missed, but I am so happy at the assurance that I will meet up with you again. Blizardo, I love you very much.

Lizardo Pito Reichard

February 7, 2020

Wow I personally can say so much, but I will keep it short , Miguel Dones was an inspiration to me since I met his son and my best friend Mike Dones back in 1976.
He was so talented and such a genius in the music world, it is so evident that his children Mike, Bobby and Rich all inherited his greatness in music.

He is truly a legend in the Spanish Christian community and will never ever be forgotten.

The Dones Family have been and always will be an extension to my family as also He and Helen are my younger sister’s God Parents.
Though we will miss him here on earth I also rejoice in knowing he is no longer sick and fully aware that he has won the fight.

See you in heaven Tio Miguel.

Michelle Dones

February 6, 2020

Michelle Dones

February 6, 2020

Michelle Dones

February 6, 2020

Michelle Dones

February 6, 2020

Michelle Dones

February 6, 2020

Michelle Dones

February 6, 2020

‬‬ I have many memories of my grandfather. One time I went to visit my grandfather at the facility he was staying at. It was so hard for me to see him in the condition he was in but I remembered that day leaving with a encouraged heart. He was no longer able to walk or talk. When you visited him sometimes he just sat there, lifeless. He had no memory of anyone or anything....except for music and worship. As he sat there oblivious to everything. We put on worship music of some hymns he liked. And the moment we did he became alive. You can see him mumbling, tapping his leg and barely trying to whistle. We knew Holy Spirit was touching his spirit because as he heard songs like “To God be the glory” he started to cry just sitting there with his eyes closed. He might not have been able to walk or talk or even eat but you know what he could do, worship! It might of sounded like mumbling but you saw it in his face as he cried and tapped his leg. He was worshiping God with all that he had left! It reminded me of that song that said “Yo le alabó con el corazón, yo le alabó con mi voz. Y si me falta la voz yo le alabó con mis manos y si me faltan las manos yo le alabó con mis pies y si me faltan los pies yo le alabó con mi alma y si me falta el alma es que ya me fui con Él.” You guys NOTHING, I mean NOTHING on this earth, no disease, nothing could of take away my Grandpa's worship! It was who he was. It was inside of him. He worship God with all he could. “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” Psalms‬ ‭150:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. And I believe he did it till his last breath. Love you Grandpa. Your legacy will continue to live forever.

Bobby Dones

February 5, 2020

My dad, Miguel, was an extraordinary man. A man of few words but of deep character. He very rarely showed his love for his children in the traditional sense. That being said, my dad shared himself in ways that no one can understand. He was unique and loved us all very deeply.

Through him, I learned how to be a musician. Through him, I learned mechanics. Through him, I learned electronics and technology. And through him, I learned integrity.

His passion for music was instilled in all his children. He taught us that our talents were meant to glorify the L-rd and none other. He very jokingly but accurately stated that preachers and teachers, evangelists and pastors would cease their functions in heaven, but a musician/singer will continue to worship our G-d throughout eternity. My musical talent, my love for electronics and technology, I owe to G-D first, then to my dad.

Pop, I miss you. I love you. Keep a seat behind a piano warm for me in your band... we'll be "Los Dones" reunited once again.

FROM THE FAMILY
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