Romulo L. Diaz, Sr., patriarch and Congressional Gold Medal recipient, dies at 103
He was a World War II veteran, and the father of AL DÍA Foundation board member, Romy Diaz, Jr.
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Romulo L. “R.L.” Diaz, Sr. has passed away at the age of 103.
The Congressional Gold Medal recipient and beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather reportedly died peacefully surrounded by family on February 8 at the Faith Presbyterian Hospice in Dallas, Texas.
Diaz Sr. was born in Venezuela on Dec. 30, 1919.
He was recruited to serve as a U.S. Merchant Marine for the former Gulf Oil in Philadelphia during World War II, until his honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard on Aug. 15, 1945.
That same year, he moved to Port Arthur, Texas, following his marriage to Irene Rivera Diaz.
He moved to Port Arthur, Texas, in 1945 following his married to Irene Rivera Diaz.
Following the war, he and his wife moved briefly to Venezuela before relocating permanently to Jefferson County, and moving to Nederland, Texas, in 1957 to raise their family.
Together, the two had four children — Romulo Jr., Anna, Jerry, and David.
Diaz Sr. retired as a TRC supervisor from Texas in 1985, and then transported petrochemical products along the Gulf Coast as a licensed tanker until 2001.
Thereafter, he resided in Sugar Land and then Garland, Texas, with his daughter and her husband.
In 2022, Diaz Sr. was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for his service.
“My family and I are just so proud,” Romy Diaz, Jr. said during remarks at the 2022 AL DÍA Top Lawyer Forum.
Throughout his life, Diaz Sr. displayed an unrivaled passion for his family, and enjoyed visiting with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren on holidays and special occasions.
He also cherished his many longtime friendships and membership in the Knights of Columbus and St. Charles Borremeo Parish of Nederland.
Diaz Sr. was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, his grandfather General Emiliano Sierraalta, parents Rafael and Clotilde Diaz, and sister Carmen Diaz.
In addition to his four children, he is survived by six grandchildren, 15 grandchildren, and his extended family in Texas, Virginia, and Venezuela.
A gathering of Diaz Sr.’’s family and friends took place today, Feb. 13, at Broussard’s Mortuary. A Mass of Christian Burial followed at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. His interment will follow at Memory Gardens of Jefferson County.
Memorial contributions in honor of Diaz Sr. may be made to the Casa de Venezuela Greater Philadelphia by visiting www.casadevenezuela.net or to Trustees of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor in the City of New York by visiting www.thesailorssnugharbor.org.
The AL DÍA Foundation family sends its heartfelt condolences to the entire Diaz family.