Jose "Pepe" Domingo Fernandez, 83, of Streetsboro, Ohio, passed away February 1, 2013, at Robinson Memorial Hospital after a short illness.
He was born on Sept. 4, 1929, in Isle of Pines, Cuba, to the late Manuel Fernandez Peneda and the late Rogelia Farrada Romero Fernandez. He came to the United States in 1960 and became a naturalized citizen in 1985. He worked for many years as a maître d' and general manager at several popular Cleveland-area restaurants, including the Bluegrass, Hickerson's at the Hanna, the Shaker House and Hunter's Hollow Tavern in Chagrin Falls. He was known for his table side cooking, including Caesar salad, bananas foster and a dessert he created called Strawbanablue. A customer later named one of his race horses Strawbanablue.
He was a 10-year cancer survivor.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Rosemary (Pieronek) Fernandez. They were married on Nov. 19, 1965. He also leaves behind his children, James Fernandez of Stow, Joel Fernandez of Streetsboro, and Jennifer Fernandez of Greensboro, N.C. ; grandchildren Rachel, Shannon, J.D., Emily, Andrea and Calen; sister-in-law Carol (Alan) Suchy; brother-in-law Joseph (Bea) Pieronek; nieces Kristen and Catherine Suchy and Sharon (Kevin) Burke; nephews Steven Pieronek and Gary (Dawn) Pieronek; and several grandnieces and grandnephews. He also will be missed by his cat companions, Blackjack, Maria and Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Armanda and cousins Georgina, Juanita and Aida. He was especially close to Aida, who was like a sister to him.
Per his wishes, he was cremated and there will be no funeral. There will be a memorial mass at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at St. Joan of Arc Church, 8894 S.R. 14, Streetsboro. A luncheon will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK, 73123-1718. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.sscfuneralhomes.com.
(Shorts-Spicer-Crislip 330-296-6858 RC 2-5-13)