ROCHESTER — Deacon Felix Medero, who served the local Hispanic church community for 15 years, died unexpectedly June 16, 2009, at the age of 56.
He had been visiting from his native Puerto Rico in part to celebrate his 15th anniversary as a deacon, said Deacon David Palma, director of the diocesan Office of Deacon Personnel. Deacon Medero, who was ordained on June 11, 1994, had attended a special anniversary event in honor of various classes, he added.
Deacon Medero first moved to Rochester in the 1970s, said Father Laurence Tracy, who befriended Deacon Medero and his family at that time. He also married the deacon and his wife, Natalia, 36 years ago, and taught Deacon Medero at the Instituto de Pastoral Hispano before he went on to finish the diaconate program at St. Bernard’s Institute.
Deacon Medero, who formerly worked for Rochester’s Delphi Corp., served the Hispanic community at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church until about four years ago when he moved back to Puerto Rico, Father Tracy said.
But even though he was no longer living in Rochester, his ties to western New York remained strong, the priest noted.
“They were still close to Rochester and family and the church,” he said of Deacon Medero and his wife.
Those ties were evident at Our Lady of the Americas Parish on June 20, 2009, during the deacon’s funeral Mass, which was attended by more than 200 people.
“He was a very compassionate and kind person,” Deacon Medero’s nephew, Elvis Reyes, said in his eulogy. “The most important thing in his life was family.”
During the Mass, many of the photographs displayed in a slideshow of Deacon Medero’s life showed him surrounded by or hugging family members.
“He became a deacon to share his love for the Lord, family and friends with his community,” Reyes noted. “He made you a more confident person. He supported you 100 percent. He had fun wherever … he was.”
Father Tony Mugavero, pastor of Holy Apostles Church, also recounted how he got to know Deacon Medero during a visit to Puerto Rico last winter. The deacon and his wife opened their home to him and spent a lot of time driving him to different places on the island, the priest noted.
“I’ll be so thankful I knew Felix who modeled what it meant to be a great father,” Father Mugavero remarked. “Un padre con un coraz√≥n de Dios.” (“A father with the heart of God.”)
Deacon Medero was predeceased by his mother, Juanita Orozco Marquez.
Along with his wife, he is survived by his father, Felix Medero; his two daughters, Teresa and Elizabeth; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Benito, and Felix and Alissa; a sister, Arelis; a brother, Edgardo; eight grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.