REYES, Edison

REYES Edison Reyes Matos peacefully entered into God’s glory on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the age of 84 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born on March 20, 1931 in Comerio, Puerto Rico to Blas and Pastora Reyes. At age 17 he enlisted in the US Army, serving his country for 22 years, including tours in Korea and Vietnam. Upon retiring in 1970, he returned to Puerto Rico for a second career with the US Postal Service. In November 1989 he made Jacksonville, Florida his final home to be closer to his children. On January 13, 2014 Jacksonville’s City Council honored Edison Reyes for his service as the city’s only surviving member of the US Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers from Puerto Rico, citing courageous service in Korea that earned him the Bronze Star/V and Purple Heart. It was his great joy to see that in June 2014 the Borinqueneers were ultimately awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Edison was a spirited man of great faith and a big heart who lived his life with courage, passion, and a sense of both justice and compassion. There was no stone he would leave unturned to protect, encourage, help, and advocate for and those he loved. He brought great vigor and energy to his pursuits, be it baseball, boxing, travel, woodworking, and the desires of his family. He met the prolonged challenges to his health, including Parkinson’s disease and PTSD, with the same spirit. He is now reunited with his parents Blas Reyes Berrios and Pastora Matos Cartagena, sister Elia Am rica Reyes, brother Emerson Reyes, and many comrades in arms who he prayed for by name every night. He is survived by the love of his life and devoted wife of 61 years, Luz E. Reyes; daughter Sylvia Reyes-Gonz lez and husband C sar Gonz lez from San Antonio, Texas; son Edison Reyes, Jr. and wife Patricia M. Reyes from Jacksonville, FL; three grandchildren who were his pride and joy: Gabriela Ysabel Gonz lez, Rafael Isaac Reyes, and Milla Marie Reyes; sister Maria Julia Reyes, and bothers Wilson and Anderson Reyes. Our family is especially grateful to staff and caregivers at the Veterans Administration (especially Dr. Craig Brockunier) and Southlake (now the Terrace) Nursing Home, where he lived for the last eight years. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 17th with Vigil Prayers at 7:00 p.m. in Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin. Funeral Service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 18th in Jacksonville National Cemetery, 4083 Lannie Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32218 with Rev. Daniel Cody as officiant, followed by interment. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32223. (904) 288-0025.

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