FORNIAS, Vicente J.
Spirited Patriarch dies.
Vicente J. Fornias, 97 of Pompano Beach, FL leaves a legacy of good works, good life and great love. He went to his eternal home on August 16, 2017.
Vicente was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba in 1920. He attended Dominicas Americanas and later graduated with a degree in business from the Colegio Champagnat de los Hermanos Maristas. Upon finishing his studies in Cuba, Vincent traveled to New Orleans to enhance his education as a boarding student at Holy Cross School and later received a degree in accounting from Soule Business College.
In December of 1944, Vincent married his childhood sweetheart Marta Polo, who predeceased him in death in 2007. They were happily married for 63 years.
Vicente and Marta belonged to the Cienfuegos Yacht Club and took great pleasure entertaining family and friends in their home in Playa Alegre, Cienfuegos. He had a passion for fishing and boating, his beloved Yankees as well as the LSU baseball and football teams.
In 1960 Vicente and his family fled Cuba with their three children and resided in New Orleans where he was employed by General Electric until his retirement.
In 1980 Vicente relocated to Pompano Beach and he worked for several years in the import-export business until finding his passion doing volunteer work at Holy Cross Hospital.
Vicente was a 7-day a week volunteer at the hospital rotating through many different positions and earning the nick-name “Papi” and the recognition as Volunteer of the Year in 2006. Papi finally retired at 93 years of age, because of inability to drive himself to work each day!
He was loved and appreciated by the Sisters of Mercy at Holy Cross, the administrators, the nurses and other clinical staff as well as by the patients whose lives he touch in his daily rounds.
Vicente is survived by his three children, Maria Soldani (Winn), Milly Barkley (Bill), Vincent Fornias (Barbara); seven grandchildren, Winn Soldani (Mary), Billy Barkley (Olya), Melissa Soldani-Lemon (Charles), Richard Barkley, Cassie Giarrusso (Joe), Samantha Woods (Terry) and Anna Sorensen (Ben), twelve great grandchildren: Zoe Maria and Zack Lemon, Jake and Lily Soldani, Julia, Liza and Katie Barkley, Sophia and Marta Giarrusso, Riley Woods and Alex and Louise Sorensen, as well as loved niece, nephews and many other relatives here and in Cienfuegos.
Throughout his life, Vicente had great courage, a passionate heart and a tremendous sense of duty and family. He inculcated in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren the love for each other, for humanity, for freedom, inclusiveness and most importantly for Faith in the Lord.
A private service will be held by his long time friend, the Reverend Bill Muniz at a time to be decided. The family asks that anyone wishing to honor Vicente’s memory to do so with a gift to the Fornias Family Fund at Hispanic Unity of Florida, a non-profit organization that serves and supports the needs of newcomers in the process of becoming American citizens.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.KalisMcIntee.com