Cover photo for Rolando E. Valdes, Sr.'s Obituary
Rolando E. Valdes, Sr. Profile Photo
1929 Rolando 2023

Rolando E. Valdes, Sr.

September 18, 1929 — April 11, 2023

Ponte Vedra Beach





Rolando Elier Valdés passed away on Easter week April 11, 2023, at the age of 93 years and seven months.  He was born on 18 September 1929 in Guanabacoa, a suburb of Habana, Cuba.  He grew up in Cuba until about the age of 10, when he was taken to Mexico by his father with his stepfamily.  He returned to Cuba at the age of 18, and legally immigrated to his country of choice, the United States of America, at the age of 42, when he started a new life, worked hard, and achieved the American Dream.

He was unique throughout his long life.  He did not preach love, he practiced it!  He did not preach caring, he cared!  He counseled all on healthy living and followed his own counsel, leading by example.  His longevity is a testament to his success in this area. From his early years to the end of his life he would forever remind all that “the strongest Stainless Steel is forged in the hottest fire”.  He was a proud alumnus of the ‘School of Hard Knocks.’ It was those hard knocks that forged the man he became, a self-determined extrovert, a survivalist, a passionate reader, a self-educated scholar, an artisan, an athlete, a weightlifter, martial artist, boxer, and the consummate motorcyclist!

He led direct-sales teams, successfully managed flower shops, and was ranked “All-Time (45 years) Best Employee” at Sherry Manufacturing Co.  He considered himself a Doctor in the University of Life, he was many things to different people: a fellow philosopher, a superb dance partner, a poet, a performer, a comedian and a great storyteller.  He had a fantastic memory to the end, but his greatest triumph was being the father he never had, to his sons.

His favorite songs as he departed were “I did it my way” by Sinatra., “El Hombre que más te amó” and “Mi Vejez” by Vicente Fernandez.  His favorite Poem was ‘Reir llorando’ by Juan De Dios Peza.  A poem he would recite in its entirety in his hospital bed just two months ago.  Some of his favorite sayings were: “No te rindas, en tú persistencia encontraras el exito” (never surrender, in your persistence you will find success), “Ya me entenderás cuando llegues aquí” (You will understand me when you get here).

Rolando is survived by his son Rolando, his daughter-in-law Nancy, his granddaughters Marie Mercedes, Anna Teresa, and great granddaughter Cecilia Marie, Rolando’s half-brothers Baltazar Valdés and Norberto Neto and their heirs as well as his late brother Armando and half-sister Alma’s heirs.  He is also survived by his stepson Ernesto Castillo & daughter-in-law Connie, grandchildren Sandra, Jackie, José and their beautiful children.  He was predeceased by his mother Leopoldina García, his father Armando Valdés, and stepfather Adolfo Neto, his son Ilich Valdés, grandson Jonathan T. Valdés, brother Armando G. Valdés, half-sister Alma C. Valdés, and spouses, Evangelina Méndez Puentes, and Carmen Cadar Valdés.

Wherever he went he always created a relationship, brought a positive attitude, a smile and a deep thought.  He was committed to remembering everyone’s birthdays and sending cards and gifts for personal and seasonal holidays.  He will be missed by all who know him. 

There will be a Catholic funeral mass celebration in his honor at:



St Joseph Catholic Church
11757 Old St. Augustine Rd. #2001
Jacksonville, Fl. 32258

Date & Time:

Saturday 13 May 2023
at 1300 hours  (1PM)


May he rest in eternal peace.

Link to the songs and poem. 








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Saturday, May 13, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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