Friends recall a man who loved to take trips with his wife, son and daughter to Key West — so much so, the laid-back island flavor will now serve as the ambiance for a celebration of life Monday that has come far too premature.
Jose “Pepe” Rey, 52, shot three times in the torso after a dispute over dog excrement near the corner of Southwest 97th Street and 103rd Avenue in Kendall on June 22, died from his injuries on June 29.
Rey’s family, which includes wife Lissette, an employee in the Miami Herald’s marketing department, daughter Becky, 23, son Joey, 21, and mother Elsa Vasquez, have called for a non-traditional memorial service that reflects Rey’s tastes: no dark mourning clothes; instead, wear bright island wear, flip-flops “and shorts definitely.”
This, they say, is what Rey, an avid boater, golfer, biker and ski fan wanted. Something, “up,” like he was.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Later in life, Rey took up cooking, his family recalls, and he became quite adept in the culinary department. “He would whip up some terrific dishes that had his special stamp on them,” they wrote in an obituary announcement.
“I'll always put that ‘extra something’ on pizza in your name,” wrote Fernando Correa on a GoFundMe page set up to help his family pay for medical and, now, funeral costs. As of Thursday afternoon, more than $44,000 has been raised.
“The family has lost a husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend to many,” Frank Ponce de Leon wrote on the page.
Rey, who worked in sales in the healthcare industry, was born on March 24, 1963 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He attended Coral Gables High School and Miami Dade College and served in the U.S. Army.
The celebration is set for 4 p.m.-midnight Monday at Van Orsdel Kendall Chapel, 11220 N. Kendall Dr., Miami. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family.
Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.