Obituaries » LEONIDES D. VILLAVISANIS

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April 22, 1942 - October 15, 2021

Funeral mass will be held at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 5601 South Flamingo Road, Southwest Ranches, FL 33330 at 10 AM on Friday, October 22, 2021. Burial service to follow at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery immediately following the mass. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Lewy Body Association at www.lbda.org/donate or to St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church at www.stmarkparish.org

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LEONIDES DANIEL VILLAVISANIS, 79, formerly of Davie, Florida, was called to eternal rest on October 15, 2021 at his home after a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia.

Born on April 22, 1942, in Santiago de las Vega, Cuba. The middle child of Ella and Santiago Villavisanis, the family immigrated to Miami, Florida in 1952, seeking the “American dream” for the family.

Daniel found the love of his life at Shell City in Miami. He and Lithia “Li” Trujillo were married April 27, 1963 and were inseparable for 58 years of marriage. After starting married life in North Miami, they quickly realized they needed a bigger home for their five children, so they built their forever home in Davie, Florida in 1979.

Daniel enlisted in the Army National Guard when he was 18 years old on July 18, 1960 in Miami. After serving at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he was honorably discharged in 1967 as a Sargent. Daniel then worked in the window repair department of the Miami-Dade School District for 30 years. He was a self-taught mechanic and a master gardener. He enjoyed learning about birds (raising chickens, canaries and finches) and woodworking (making fine storage chests, pens and bookcases). He even enjoyed going to cake making conferences with Li where his carpentry skills were put to use making supports for tall and heavy cakes for weddings and other ceremonies.

If something was broken, Daniel learned to fix it. He had a knack for learning quickly. He taught his children to “watch and learn,” never through harsh criticism, but always with a gentle hand. Along the way, he showed his children how to maintain their bicycles, cars and homes. In his spare time, he and his children raised prize winning chickens, tended bees and grew some of the best fruit in Florida.

Family and guests always enjoyed Daniel’s warm and infectious laughter. Telling jokes and recounting absurdly funny stories of his childhood to his own children could have them all rolling with laughter. His sense of humor was one of his many endearing qualities.

He never worked without music. Latin music made him smile and move his hips, country music made his cry and sometimes laugh; he always had a whistle on his lips. He shared a passion for all things chocolate and sweet. While Li made and decorated the cakes and pastries, Daniel loved eating them. He was even the designated pecan pie chef every Thanksgiving.

He and Li enjoyed traveling around the United States (many family camping trips), Canada and Europe. The couple also took several cruises. The most memorable trips were to Italy and South America.

He was present for all important events for his children and grandchildren. He held hands and guided all of his children and grandchildren on bikes, lawnmowers, cars, swimming pools and religious ceremonies. He was a patient, kind and loving husband as well as a tender father to their children. Generous of his time and talent, he was always willing to lend a hand to neighbors and family, and no one left the home hungry. He and his wife attended mass in the Catholic Church every week.

Daniel will be greatly missed by his wife, Lithia, his brother Rolando Villavisanis, his five children, their spouses and children: Christina Maria Villavisanis, her spouse Ray Deering and her daughter Angelina Amadeo; Daniel Villavisanis and his wife Donna Villavisanis and their children Daniel, Rosina and Gracie Lu; Robert Villavisanis and his wife Debra Villavisanis and their son Dillan; Paul Villavisanis and his wife Maren Villavisanis and their children Sage and Zoey: and Susan Swancey and her husband Patrick Swancey and their children Mikayla and Casey.

He was preceded by his parents Elia and Santiago Villavisanis and his older brother Santiago Villavisanis, Jr.

Funeral mass will be held at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 5601 South Flamingo Road, Southwest Ranches, FL 33330 at 10 AM on Friday, October 22, 2021. Burial service to follow at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery immediately following the mass.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Lewy Body Association at www.lbda.org/donate or to St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church at www.stmarkparish.org