Daniel Cruz Roldán, 67, passed away on Thursday, January 26, 2023.
Dan was born the youngest of three children to Bartolo and Tomasa Cruz in
Caguas, Puerto Rico on June 27, 1955.
As a young child, Dan’s family moved to Brooklyn, NY. They later returned to
Caguas where Dan excelled in school and sports. As a young boy, Dan ran numbers
for the local bookmaker in his neighborhood. His ability to quickly calculate
numbers in his head made him an asset to the bookmaker’s business. To the
dismay of his parents, he was often invited to play in poker games that the
bookmaker hosted for local neighborhood gangsters. At first, they saw young Dan
as a novelty until he kept winning.
As a teenager, he spent his summers playing baseball and working at local baseball
parks selling beer. In particular, one park was home to the Criollos de Caguas,
winner of at least twenty national Puerto Rican titles and five Caribbean World
While still in high school, he lost his beloved mother to lymphatic cancer. Despite
this devastating loss, he graduated from high school in July 1973. After graduation,
Dan moved to the Washington, DC area to live with his older brother, Jorge. Dan
quickly obtained employment at a local gas station located at Ft. Meyer, VA while
he studied computer science at a local community college. Dan strained at Jorge’s
strict house rules so their living arrangement was short-lived and he eventually
moved out to be on his own.
But Dan needed a car to get around. Dan enjoyed different types of music and
going to concerts at venues around the city. But Dan was ultimately a salsero.
Washington, in the 80s and 90s, attracted some of the biggest salsa stars and
bands in the industry. Dan was determined to see all of his favorites. Imagine the
big band era of the 1940s. The salsa bands were large and the “parties”, as Dan
liked to call them, started late and lasted until three or four in the morning. One
day, Dan met a young Marine officer at the gas station he worked named John F.
Kelly (Yes. That one.). He had a car for sale. Dan finally had his wheels. Dan always
regretted not keeping the signed title for that one.
Throughout his career, Dan worked for various contractors around DC as a system
administrator of IBM mainframes. By the late eighties, he was working in New York
City for Citibank. In the summer of 1989, he returned to Washington to attend the
Latino Festival being held on the Mall. This is where he met a California native
named Rosemary Garcia who became his lifelong partner. In 1992, they welcomed
a son, Daniel Thomas Cruz.
In 2000, Dan joined the Seafarers Vacation Plan, a vacation benefits plan managed
for employers with collective bargaining agreements with the Seafarers
International Union of North America. Dan’s tenure at Seafarers was the longest of
his career and he enjoyed his time there. He retired on December 31, 2021.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Tomasa and Bartolo, and his beloved grandmother, Guillermina Roldán Rodriguez. He is survived by his long-time partner, Rosemary Garcia, and his son, Daniel T. Cruz of Upper Marlboro, MD. In Puerto Rico, he is survived by his sister Inez Cruz, brother Jorge Cruz, nephews Jose Luis Pacheco, Daniel Pacheco and Jorgito Cruz of Mississippi, and many more family and friends.
For those attending his services in Caguas, PR, arrangements are being handled by Borinquen Memorial Parks, Carr. 798 Km 29.7, Bo. Cañas River, Sector La Guasabara Caguas, PR 00725. The service will be held on Monday, February 6th from 4-8 pm and his burial will be on Tuesday, February 7th at 12 pm.
A memorial contribution is suggested to any of the following: