Benito Aiza Morales passed away peacefully on October 4, 2021 at the age of 77. Benito "Benny" was born November 10, 1943 in Arecibo, PR to Ines Morales Santana and Benito Aiza. His mother passed of tuberculosis at age 28, when he was only 8 years old. He was sent by his father to live with his maternal aunt Lucila Martinez Morales and her husband Bartolo Martinez, in NYC.
Benny graduated East New York Vocational HS and then served in the army, where he received an honorable discharge. He pursued his studies in Syracuse University, earning a B.A. degree in Sociology. He then worked for the State of New York as a Caseworker.
Benny loved culture, often saying how lucky he was to live in NYC, with all it's diversity. He regularly visited museums, theatrical performances, concerts, botanical gardens, talks, book and poetry readings, cultural festivals and street fairs. He savored the foods of different countries and embraced the music, which at times would make him dance. He enjoyed visiting the library, reading books and all kinds of articles from all types of newspapers, with references to religion, culture, scientific and technological advances, social and political affairs . He admired the achievements of people whether it were creatively or intellectually. Architecture, arts, music, nature and intellectual conversations would all attract him. He believed in education, skills and knowledge, often saying "they cannot take away what you learned".
He travelled often, spending 5 weeks in the western and southern parts of the US and Canada. He was adventurous, taking hot air balloon, helicopter and small aircraft rides. He said "you only live once". The curiosity to learn about culture, people and their personal stories led him to ask and listen to people. He would strike up a conversations during his long walks in the city or his travels. For those in need he lent a helping hand with much compassion.
Benny would light up a room when he walked in. He would have a big smile and emphatically say things like "que pasa?", "keep the faith". He felt an obligation to share what he knew to help others. He offered ideas on what helped him succeed to those who would listen. He liked good debates and was an analytical thinker. He felt that life was not black and white, but full of lots of nuances.
His laughter, smile, kindness, gentleness and love will be missed dearly.
He is survived by his cousins Henry Martinez, Juana Martinez Acosta, George Martinez and Eva Martinez-Hernandez and her husband William.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Benito's memory can be made to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade - Scholarship program or to the Alzheimer's Association. Please use the links on the left side of the page to donate.
The family will be present on Saturday, October 9th from 3-6 PM at Ruggiero & Sons, Inc. Funeral Home & Cremation Services – 732 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704 – (914) 375-1400 – www.FRSWFH.com
At the request of the Martinez Family, masks or face coverings are required during the visitation. Thank you for your cooperation.
Our facility at 732 Yonkers Avenue is independently owned & operated by Richard & Michael Ruggiero. This location is staffed by Michael, Eileen, Michelle & Andrew Ruggiero and Jessica Martins. At this time, this is the only facility owned and operated by the Ruggiero family