Ismael Laboy-Diaz, Sr., age 85, passed away on Sunday, September 18, 2020.
Born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Ismael was the son of the late Bendito Laboy and Nemesia Diaz. He was a longtime parishioner at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Wilmington. Ismael’s passion was cooking. Ismael was a U.S. Army veteran serving during the Korean War.
For over 30 years, he was a talented chef in several restaurants in Wilmington. He worked at Howard Johnson’s Restaurant for 18 years, as well as Columbus Inn. Before retiring in 1996, Ismael was the head chef at Cokesbury Village in Hockessin for 17 years. Aside from work, Ismael loved to host Sunday dinner and cook his Hispanic specialties of Spanish rice, Pernil (roast pork shoulder), Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican rice with pidgeon peas) and beef short ribs.
Family and faith were the most important parts of Ismael’s life. He dearly loved his family. Ismael will be remembered as a simple man with a kind and generous heart. Even though he may not have had much to spare, Ismael was always there to help anyone in need.
In his leisure time, Ismael loved to go to Delaware Park and watch the horse races. He also enjoyed playing the lotto, which he had some luck here and there with, as well as his brandy and beer.
Ismael is survived by his daughter, Carmen Laboy (Rosie) of Humacao, PR; his son, Ismael “Sonny” Laboy, Jr. (Solito); grandaughters, Tanelys De Leon Laboy and Gisela De Leon Laboy; his dear friend and Sonny’s mother, Joanne Gavette; his siblings, Matilde Laboy Diaz, who was predeceased by her husband, Sergio Vazquez Saldana of Humacao, PR, Andres Laboy Diaz of Reading, PA, Francisco Laboy Hernandez, husband of Myriam Laboy of Reading, PA, and Maria Irene Laboy Diaz, wife of Pedro Luis Bruno of Yabucoa, PR. Ismael has many nieces and nephews ranging from Massachusetts to Puerto Rico. He was predeceased by his parents and his siblings, Aniceto Laboy Diaz, Ramona Laboy Diaz, Lydia Laboy Diaz, and Natividad Laboy Diaz.
Family and friends may visit from 10 to 11 AM on Monday, October 19 at Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Rd., Wilmington, DE 19808, where a funeral service will begin at 11 AM. Interment will follow at Cathedral Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 1010 W. 4th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805.
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St. Paul's Catholic Church
1010 W. 4th St., Wilmington DE 19805