Jose Horacio Pestana passed away peacefully in Clearwater, Florida on November 14, 2020 at the age of 87.
He was born in the Atlantic in Madeira Island, Portugal on March 24, 1933 to United States Army veteran Joao Pestana dos Santos and Maria Ines Freitas.
He emigrated to Caracas, Venezuela where he became a race-car driver and automobile mechanic. He started his own auto repair business in the Caracas neighborhood of Los Chaguaramos, and quickly became one the busiest and most respected in town, earning him the nickname of Mestre Horacio dos Chaguaramos (Master/Expert Horacio of Los Chaguaramos). There was nothing about cars he did not know and no problem he could not fix.
In Caracas he was reunited with his teenage love, Maria Otilia Pinto Correia. He married her and they stayed together for 55 years.
He came to love Venezuela as his own and with great pains left his adopted country and successful business so that he could provide higher education and a brighter future to his two sons in the United States.
He continued to work as an auto-mechanic in Miami, Florida until his retirement at the age of 65. Even in retirement he never stopped working and having a daily purpose, until chronic illness slowed him down in his mid-80s.
He is survived by his wife Maria Otilia Pestana; two sons Jose Carlos of Riverview, FL and Jose Miguel of Clearwater, FL; two daughters in law Liza from Riverview, FL and Jaspreet from Clearwater, FL; two brothers Angelo and Rafael from Madeira, Portugal; three sisters Ines, Nel and Rita from Madeira, Portugal; and four grandchildren Ethan, Ronak and Nicholas from Clearwater, FL and Carli from Riverview, FL.
He leaves a legacy of hard work, decency, and a purpose driven life.
There will be a mass on his honor at the Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon, Florida and a private Memorial service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Seminole, Florida. Due to the current pandemic these will be small private events.
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