Leroy C. Harrison, 89, of Baldwin, New York was born on February 9, 1928 in Camaguey, Cuba. Born to parents Florence and Herbert Harrison, he was one of four children, Enid, Ethel and Franklin. Leroy attended Chester Private School in Camaguey, Cuba. After graduating from school, he worked odd jobs. He longed to learn a trade so he began doing some tailoring. In a year’s time, he horned his skills enough so that he and his friend entered a contest for carnival costumes. His tailoring skills became so good that he won first prize for his designs and workmanship. A few years later, Leroy started looking to do something else. He decided to become an apprentice plumber. Once his skills became good enough he went to Guantanamo where he worked as a plumber, with his father, on the United States Naval Base. On his downtime, Leroy enjoyed going out with his friends and loved the game of baseball. He regularly played baseball with a group of friends. One day he went to see this star pitcher named Esmeralda, who happened to be the sister of one of his baseball playmates. Leroy was so taken back by the beauty on the mound that he instantly knew he was looking at his future wife. They quickly began dating after meeting that day. Leroy fell in love with Esmeralda and less than a year of their initial encounter, he married Esmeralda Ellis in 1954. After several years of building a life together in Cuba they migrated to the United States of America for a better life. Leroy came to America in 1965 and a year later, with clearance, Esmeralda joined him and settled in Brooklyn, New York.
Leroy was a hard worker who had mastered the field of plumbing. His skills enabled him to pick up various jobs so he could support his family. It afforded him the ability to make an honest living. In time, he landed a job with Ulano, a major plumbing/maintenance company, doing what he loved. Leroy became such a respected and reliable worker at Ulano that he could get his brother Frank and his brother-in-law Silvano hired where they all worked until they each retired. Leroy was a simple man who used humor to make those around him comfortable and at ease. He loved to make you laugh and was happy if you were having a good time in his presence. For enjoyment and relaxation, he loved watching baseball games, specially, the Mets. He and Esmeralda went to many games at Shea Stadium and when he couldn’t go to games, he watched on TV, and when he couldn’t watch on TV, he’d listened on his radio. Whatever it took, he rarely missed a game. The thing that Leroy will mostly be remembered for is his cooking. He began cooking when he started working the nightshift at Ulano. He didn’t want to spend the money buying dinner out when he could bring food from home. As the years went on Leroy became an excellent cook. His cooking became so good that family and friends started requesting his signature rice and beans or pork shoulder (Pernil) dishes. His Pernil was so good that it became his staple dish every New Year’s Day. Each year everyone knew he was cooking his signature dishes and they would all come over to eat and celebrate another New Year. It made him happier than anything else could. The common thread in Leroy’s life is that whatever he put his mind to be mastered. Nothing was ever done halfway. If he said he was going to do something it was done but if he said no then that was that. No if’s, and’s or but’s he was not changing his mind and everyone knew it. Throughout his entire life, by the grace of God, Leroy was able to travel, pursue his dreams and he lived a long full life doing all the things his heart desired. On August 11, 2017, Leroy was called home. He was predeceased by his wife, Esmeralda. Leroy is survived by his son Franklin, daughter Barbara, grandson Jordel, granddaughter Wynter, daughter-in-law Joselyn, siblings Enid and Frank, many nieces, nephews and dear friends. He was a faithful husband, excellent father and caring friend.
Family was his everything.
Reposing at the Fullerton Funeral Home, Inc., 769 Merrick Road, Baldwin, New York on Saturday, August 26, 2017 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, August 26, 2017, 10:00 a.m. at the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary R.C. Church in Roosevelt, New York.
Interment to follow at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York
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