Jose “Tony” Hernandez
January 17, 1952 - April 24, 2022
Our father, grandfather, uncle, friend, and resident of Newark DE, and original Conguero de Harlem JOSE (TONY) HERNANDEZ, passed away at the age of 70, on Sunday, April 24, 2022.
Born in Sabana Grande de, Puerto Rico on January 17, 1952. Shortly after, his family of 5 (father: Rafael, mother: Dora, and older brothers: Sindo, and Ralphael) moved to 125th Street, New York, NY to solidify careers and take advantage of what Nueva York had to offer. It was here that Jose found his love for music. From hanging out with members of the Fania All Stars on the streets near the Apollo theatre, Jose studied the sounds, soul, and rhythms of the Conga. From listening to relentless hours of training records, to attending live concerts throughout the 5 boroughs, Jose mastered the art of the Conga to the point that musicians far and wide would seek Jose out to listen to his riffs, and readily hand over their drums to learn in his presence.
Not only did fellow musicians express their love, but a certain lady by the name of Petra (Sally) Castillo did as well. It was on University Avenue in the Bronx, where Jose first approached Sally for a date and never looked back. On June 21st, 1975, Jose and Sally took their vows of wedded matrimony and developed their own harmony. This new harmony traversed through the Bronx, to Staten Island and rested in Newark, Delaware. Its dynamic harmony resonates to this day through the hearts of son, Anthony Hernandez, along with Daughters, Rosa Guertin, Jafet Hernandez, and all their grandchildren.
Jose is remembered by all who know him for always putting the best interest of his family before his own. From his humble beginnings in Citibank as a mail clerk, to growing with the bank and re-locating to Newark, Delaware as a senior computer operator. Jose always believed in sacrificing all he had to help those around him. Once retiring after 30 years in Citibank with a big grandfather clock, Jose supported his wife in managing their own Day Care business “The Future Generations” for an additional 10 years. His ability to switch gears, utilize his knowledge from banking, and pour out his love for children, grew a thriving business and helped develop children in his local community.
Tony will always be remembered for his ability to bring people together, make people laugh, and being the life of the party!! In closing we wish Tony eternal rest, and take a quote from one of his favorite songs “Y Volar, Volar” “Gracias Tony por “Detener el tiempo, y mantener a mi lado, nuestro amor que e sagrado, y solo vivire lo nuestro y amamos hasta quedar sin aliento”. Translation, Thanks Tony for stopping the time, and keeping by my side our love that is sacred and just living our own and loving each other until I’m out of breath.
Jose is survived by his beloved spouse, Petra Hernandez; beloved children, Anthony Hernandez of Phoenix AZ, Rosa Guertin (Louis) of Elkton MD, Jafet Hernandez of Newark DE; grandchildren; eldest brother, Sindo Hernandez (Blanca) of Englewood NJ; and nieces and nephews.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 1 pm until 2 pm on Friday, April 29, 2022, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a Memorial Service will begin at 2 pm. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Tony’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or by clicking here www.heart.org.