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Obituary: Jose “Tito” Ramon Acevedo

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4/4/1960 – 7/25/2023
Paterson, NJ

Jose “Tito” Ramon Acevedo, a devoted advocate for the Hispanic community and a beloved member of his family and friends, passed away on July 25, 2023, in Paterson, NJ, after a brief illness. He was 63 years old.

Born on April 4, 1960, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Tito was the fourth child of Jose Israel Acevedo and Maria Josefa Irizarry. Throughout his life, he took great pride in sharing the significance of his birthdate, being the fourth child, born on the fourth day of the fourth month.

Tito’s dedication to education and community service was evident from an early age. He graduated from Paterson Catholic Regional High School in 1978 and went on to pursue his higher education at Rutgers University. In 1982, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and minored in Puerto Rican Studies, a testament to his commitment to understanding and preserving his cultural heritage.

Following his graduation, Tito embarked on a fulfilling career in social work, community engagement, and corporate human resources. His journey began at ASPIRA Inc. of New Jersey, where he mentored and counseled Hispanic youth, leaving a positive impact on their lives. Over the years, he contributed his expertise to various organizations, including Verizon, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, Newark Department of Health, FOCUS-Hispanic Center for Community Development Inc., and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

Among Tito’s many accomplishments, he will be particularly remembered for his outstanding service to New Jersey’s Hispanic community, especially the Puerto Rican Community. As the chairman of Friends of the Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library, he tirelessly promoted lifelong learning within the Hispanic community and worked ardently to preserve its historical legacy in the state. Tito’s passion extended to honoring the history and sacrifices of Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Regiment, known as The Borinqueneers, the only segregated Hispanic unit in US Army history.

Tito was predeceased by his loving mother, Maria Josefa Irizarry, but he leaves behind cherished memories in the hearts of his father, Jose Israel Acevedo, his brother, Jose Rene Acevedo, and his beloved husband, Alan Robert Willemssen, with whom he shared a bond of profound love and companionship. He also leaves behind an extended family of his three nieces, Irene Acevedo and Cindy Arias from Hawthorn, NJ, Kairy Acevedo from Elmwood Park, NJ, and Iris Acevedo and Marlene Sanchez from Prospect Park, NJ, his grandnephew, Mario Ayden Gonzalez and his grandniece Isabella Marie Gonzalez, and his adopted family, Marilyn Rivera and Willie Perez and their children, his adopted niece and nephew, Will Perez Jr. and Jessica Perez.

Tito moved to Lawrence in May of 2016 and lived there until June 2023 when he moved to be near family and friends where he passed surrounded by many loved ones. His last job was at Kansas’ Department of Commerce Workforce finding jobs for veterans as well as others. Anywhere he worked in Kansas he made close friends.

Friends and family are invited to pay their respects at the Shook Funeral Home in Clifton, NJ, on Monday, July 31, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A solemn church service will be held on August 1, 2023, at 11:00 am at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Clifton, NJ.

In tribute to Tito’s commitment to the Borinqueneers, the family kindly requests donations, in lieu of flowers, to the Borinqueneers Park Education Alliance (144 Rector St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861 www.bpealliance.org) The Alliance is in the process of constructing a veteran’s memorial in Perth Amboy, NJ dedicated to the heroic Borinqueneers.

Tito will forever be remembered for his unwavering dedication to his community, his loving nature, and the lasting impact he made on the lives of those he touched. May his soul rest in eternal peace.


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