CW DXer, N6MZU, Angel Amaro, SK 11 November 2011
Angel Amaro, N6MZU, passed away on November 11, 2011 at the age of 88 in Harbor City, California in the company of his children and loved ones after a long and happy life.
Angel was born in Matanzas, Cuba to Maria Perez and Jose Amaro. He grew up in the town of Florida, Cuba with his parents and four siblings, a sister and three brothers. They lived in a small railroad station where his father was the station keeper and telegrapher.
Angel joined the Cuban air force where he served as a telegrapher and then moved to Camaguey, Cuba after getting married, ready to start his career and raise his family. He worked for Cubana Airlines, bought the family's first home and a car and opened a clothing store with his brothers Luis and Alejandro. Along with his wife Hortensia, a public school teacher, they raised their first three children. They worked hard and prospered and were content.
Then their world changed. Angel sought asylum in the U.S. with his wife, Hortensia Amaro Nodarse and children as refugees from communist Cuba in November 1960 in order to provide their children with the opportunity to grow and flourish with the freedom to pursue their individual dreams and develop their talents. Angel was known by family, friends and co-workers for being a gentleman and a hard working, generous and principled man dedicated to his family. He and Hortensia realized that everything they had worked so hard for in Cuba had been destroyed and came to the U.S. and worked in jobs that allowed them to start anew and provide for their children. Angel often expressed gratitude to this country for welcoming him and his family and for the support they received when they first arrived, especially from the Episcopal Church.
Angel worked for many years in the airline industry, first in Cubana Airlines in Cuba, starting as a telegrapher, and then at National Airlines and Pan American Airlines freight operations in Los Angeles. He also was loved by clients who he served for many years in his tax preparation business, which he had until age 80. As an avid amateur Ham Radio Operator, Angel loved connecting to people all over the globe using Morse Code, a skill and passion he learned from his father at a young age. Angel did not use computers or voice instruments as a Ham Radio operator. He liked being a Ham Radio operator the old-fashioned way using only Morse code. In 1997, after retirement, using his Ham Radio call sign (N6MZU), he and Hortensia took a cross-country trip with radio antenna and Ham Radio equipment rigged to his van so Angel could communicate during the entire trip. Their unique experience was featured in an article in the 1997 November issue of the SCDXC Bulletin.
Citing his love of Ham Radio, the article notes "Angel loves CW. Amateur radio to him is the rhythm and music of the Morse code." His family fondly referred to his Ham Radio as the "tiki-tiki" in reference to the clicking sound heard in the house while he was engrossed in radio communication. He tested for and received his Amateur Extra FCC license, the highest level awarded, in 2005 at age 81. Angel was also an excellent chef and prepared family meals on a regular basis and helped teach his children to cook. His favorites however, were preparing varied BBQ meats for family gatherings and making 'monteria,' a Cuban dish of shredded pork usually served the day after the traditional Cuban Christmas Eve dinner of 'lechon asado' (roasted pig). Angel also adapted this recipe for turkey after Thanksgiving.
During their long and happy marriage of 57 years, Angel and Hortensia enjoyed many trips throughout the world thanks to the benefits he received working for the airlines. Together they traveled every continent and widely within the U.S. and left bookshelves filled with photo albums from their trips. They came back with many stories of their adventures to share with their loved ones. Angel was a wonderful storyteller of family history. Often after dinner, with minor prompting he would share with his children stories from his childhood in Cuba and from the early years of courtship with Horte, as he lovingly called his wife. One of the things he would often say when relating stories of hardship or disappointment in his young adulthood is "When one door closes, another one opens" - reflecting his consistent positive life view.
Angel was pre-deceased in 2004 by his wife Hortensia. He is survived by his children Rafael Angel Amaro, Hortensia de los Angeles Amaro, and Lucille Chmura Amaro - Angel Armando Amaro, his other son passed away in 1989 at age 29. He is also survived by his brothers Luis Amaro and Alejandro Amaro; grandchildren Andrew Amaro, Angela Amaro and Estelle Chmura; and great grandchildren Alyssa Amaro, and Zachary Amaro. Papi, Dad, Abuelo, we miss you and carry your memory and many lessons in our hearts.
The Amaro family held private celebration of Angel's life on July 14th, 2012. In recognition of the support the Amaro family received from the Episcopal Church upon immigrating to the US, the family would like to request that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Parish of St. Mary in Palms, 3647 Watseka Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034-3914.