From the bottom of our hearts we share the news of the death of our father, Jose DeLeon-Bencosme. Below is a carefree tribute to his memory. It was his wish that his body, having been a medical miracle since childhood, be donated to science for research. Unfortunately, this could not be the case in times of Covid. In order to fulfill his desire to contribute to science, research and education, the family is asking for donations in his memory instead of flowers in order to promote the research of Dr. To support Marcus Periera of Columbia University's Irving Medical Center, whose expertise allowed us family an additional 18 months to make lifelong memories.
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Below is a carefree tribute to his memory.
In loving memory of Jose De León Bencosme
José Rigoberto De León-Bencosme was born on April 2, 1946 in the Dominican Republic in the village of Enriquillo, Barahona, and grew up in Juan Lopez, Moca. He is preceded in death by his mothers Altagracia Ramirez, Teolinda Bencosme, father José Maria De León and the siblings Kenya, Edith, Josephine and Frank. He leaves behind his 48-year-old wife Ramona, children Lillian, Jose, Dawn, Mary and grandchildren Jose Jr., Archer, Evan, Logan, Destiny, Christian and Jesse, numerous brothers and sisters and countless nieces and nephews and family who he loved very much. Thanks to the wonders of science, Jose was blessed to have 17 extra years of life with his family after a liver transplant. Jose reluctantly died on January 28, 2021 with his family by his side.
As a young teenager, José emigrated to the United States, joining his sisters and mother Teolinda, who sought refuge from the Trujillo regime, and only returned to the Dominican Republic once in his life. Here in the USA he discovered the apple pie, which remained his favorite dessert all his life.
José, who saw himself as an existentialist, couldn't stop himself from questioning everything and from engaging in philosophical debates. However, his children knew without a doubt that he was at heart a conspiracy theorist. It is not without irony that the last year of his life, 2020, spawned many conspiracy theories that he believed would come true (in his opinion), from the most outrageous to the most mundane, which allows him to finally tell his family for telling you, now listen to your father.
Jose had a great love and respect for higher education, science, and the study of the human psyche imparted to him by his mother, Teolinda, who was a respected educator in the city of Moca. Despite earning an Associates in Arts and a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude in Behavioral Science from Mercy College in New York, José decided to go his own way in what his daughters refer to as lifelong research by teaching thousands of Met and interacted with people throughout his career as a private driver.
Jose never liked being restricted and cramped by four walls and experienced every day as an adventure on the road. Ironically, his driving a car often caused an air of fear in his family, especially given his fondness for driving straight into traffic despite his 40 years of experience on the streets of NYC. It was an encyclopedia of NYC facts, US history, and world philosophy that often gave guests a joyful interaction with their destination. His generosity and helpfulness earned him many generations of customers who would call him even after he retired just to hear his voice and stories.
Though he's generally stoic, there wasn't a song that didn't hit Jose's sociable spirit and make him break into dance ... anytime, anywhere. He was a lifelong vegan and a die-hard Mets fan ... his family lovingly forgave him for these two transgressions. The only thing he enjoyed more than apple pie was a debate that he knew he was wrong, but he stayed on track just to get rid of the poor soul who was foolish enough to try some rational conversation.
Without a doubt, the family always came first. He often noticed how he saw himself in his children, Jose ... the life of the party, Dawn ... the pragmatist (if she wasn't a Fosforita (Spitfire)), Mary ... the silent baby who often reprimanded him as if he were his mother would be and ... Lillian, the child of his heart that he had never given up, he loved his children and they loved him.
He will be remembered for his generous manner, sense of humor and most importantly, friendliness. He often told his kids to live by his philosophies # 1. Be independent, don't rely on anyone; # 2. Don't dwell in the past, live in the moment, and # 3 in life you don't try ... you just do. Ironically, he was unable to answer yes or no to any question, his answer to every question was about some form of engagement, maybe, or we'll see.