3/26/1940 - 12/28/2020
Gonzalo Armando Guarton of Great Neck, New York, son of Gonzalo and Amelia Guarton, passed away on December 28, 2020 after a lengthy battle with numerous health issues. He was 80 years old. Gonzalo was born and raised in Havana, Cuba and graduated from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in 1957. After graduation, he went to Paris to study medicine but was unable to complete his degree due to the political climate in his home country and he returned to Cuba. Soon after his return he fled from Cuba and its newly installed Communist regime to start a life in the United States.
In the US, Gonzalo always lived in New York. Initially he lived in Buffalo for one fall and winter season – and for Gonzalo, who had grown up in the Caribbean, the notoriously snowy and cold Buffalo winter made him realize that he better stick to the somewhat milder New York City weather. Gonzalo called New York City and Long Island home for almost 60 years.
Soon after moving to New York City, he met Gladys Branly, who had also recently fled Cuba. Within 6 months they were married and remained married for over 58 years. They were blessed with three children: Gonzalo, Greta and Greg.
Early on Gonzalo worked in a clinical laboratory, ultimately establishing and operating his own lab. Simultaneously he was a consultant for the New York City Board of Health, developing the quality standards for laboratory equipment.
After selling his lab, he worked as a real estate broker, which eventually led to his establishing Experta Management Corporation, a property management company that provided real estate and facilities management services, occasionally including the organization of art exhibitions and social events.
Gonzalo was spontaneous, adventurous and funny. He loved spur of the moment escapades with his family and friends, playing funny (harmless) pranks, and making people laugh. He could suddenly break into song, making up lyrics as he sang, to fit the occasion.
Gonzalo enjoyed cooking for loved ones, and had the ability to create dishes, flower arrangements, paintings, and even emergency fixes out of what was available at the time. He also had a passion for music, and greatly enjoyed all types, ranging from his favorite classics Tchaikovsky Concert No. 1 and Rachmaninoff No. 2, to Louis Armstrong and Benny More. It was fitting that, on his last night, his bedroom television spontaneously switched and became stuck on a program featuring uninterrupted country music, prominently featuring his beloved Dolly Parton. He enjoyed time with his family and friends the most, and was always on call for a friend in need of help. In the spirit of resourcefulness and positivity, he never ceased to enjoy creating things to offer, which in the years after his stroke, he did by giving step by step instructions to others who acted as his hands.
The Guarton Family wishes to express its gratitude to the Belen Class of 1957, which has remained remarkably close for over 60 years, for all the good times, support, and camaraderie. Gonzalo always felt very fortunate that his great friend from Belen, Jose “Pepe” Fernandez-Padial, and his wife Irene, lived close by and their families had many great times together.
Gonzalo is survived by his wife Gladys; his children and their spouses, Gonzalo and Jennifer Guarton, Greta Guarton, and Greg Guarton and Sandy Godina; his sister and her husband, Linda and John Gleason; his grandchildren Max and Jake Guarton; his nieces and their spouses, Liz and Charlie Everitt, Ann Marie Pactus, and Grace Garrigan and John Matthews; his nephew and his wife, Michael and Lisa Gleason; as well as many beloved cousins. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Long Island Coalition of the Homeless (www.addressthehomeless.org).
To leave an online condolence to the family, please visit our website at www.nhpfh.com/post/gonzalo-armando-guarton
Sunday, January 3
3:00 - 7:00 PM
New Hyde Park Funeral Home
506 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Park, NY