Don Otilio Diaz 1930-2006By Jose B. Rivera
Don Otilio Diaz, executive director of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriquena, died peacefully on Monday, August 21, 2006. He was 75. Mr. Diaz had no children, but is survived here in New York City by a sister, a nephew, and many nieces and cousins. A public memorial was held Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31 at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in East Harlem. Religious services were held Friday, September 1 at Saint Cecilia’s Church. Mr. Diaz will now be buried in his hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico.
Otilio Diaz was born 1930 in Guayama, near the southern coast of Puerto Rico. He earned a B. A. from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.S. in Educational Administration from Fordham University.
In 1981, Mr. Diaz joined La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriquena, Inc. as its Executive Director. Over the next 25 years, he worked diligently to promote traditional Puerto Rican arts and culture, including folkloric dancing and music - and to welcome frequent visitors from Puerto Rico and other Latin American nations. Intensely proud of his heritage, Mr. Diaz was also instrumental in the agency’s acquisition of thousands of books and artifacts from and about Puerto Rico. As a result, La Casa is greatly appreciated by many in the Puerto Rican and Latino community.
The board of directors of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriquena, Inc. has held several meetings to discuss the agency’s future, and will now begin moving forward to implement their Strategic Plan. For more information, call (212) 722-2600 or visit www.lacasapr.org.
This press release was provided by La Casa and special thanks to Ms. Marina Ortiz.