Ricardo Fucoy Ybañez, 87, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 2, 2019. He was born in Cebu, Philippines.
Ricardo’s mother died giving birth to him and he became a pillar of strength for his family and loved ones. In World War II, he evacuated with his aunts and grandmother to a small village in a valley surrounded by hills in a neighboring town. There he and his family survived the duration of the war by planting highland rice, corn, and other kinds of vegetables. His favorite thing to do as child was to gather firewood and make his own toys such as tops, kites, and slingshots made from rubber bands. He loved his little village but when the U.S. Liberation Army landed, the U.S. soldiers escorted them all back to the big city to escape enemy soldiers retreating to the hills.
After the war, Ricardo reunited with his estranged father, Flaviano Fucoy, who has been looking for him since his birth. His father guided him to study commerce and he later became an accountant for the Peninsula Hotel in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur which his father owned. While working at the hotel, he met his wife, Nelida. They married May 23, 1959 and had three children, Ruth, Noemi, and Paul. Ricardo and Nelida moved to Manila when he became employed by Central Bank of the Philippines. He quickly made a work family with his coworkers with whom he retains a close kinship with to this day. In 1973, Ricardo uprooted his family and immigrated to the United States to escape the legalization of Philippine Martial Law. He became the head of International Banking at New York State Banking and purchased his family home in Jersey City where he lived out the rest of his life.
When 9/11 hit, Ricardo was working just three short blocks from the World Trade Center Towers. He and his company were told to evacuate to the lower levels of their building on Rector Street. He witnessed the explosion as the buildings collapsed and was one of the ones who ran from the thick smoke which was speedily swallowing the streets. He survived by seeking shelter inside a building on Broadway. He made it home after walking to Midtown Manhattan and waited for hours to take a short ferry ride back to his extremely worried family.
Ricardo is predeceased by his wife, Nelida Ybañez, who passed in June of 2013. He was the proud grandfather of five grandchildren: Sasha and Phil Sheaff, Jasmin and John Pascarello, Alexander, Megan, and Hannah. He is survived by siblings Maria Luisa, Titos, Marmie, Nicky, Robbie, and Manny who reside in the Philippines. Ricardo became a great-grandfather for the very first time to little Rafaela Sheaff, who was the light of his life for the past thirteen months. He was tickled to have an apo sa tuhod (“great-grandchild” in Tagalog). It was his absolute favorite thing to just hold her and play with her.
A visitation for Ricardo will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Riotto Funeral Home. Funeral services will take place on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 10:00 AM at St. Paul of the Cross Church, Jersey City. There will be no visitation at the funeral home prior to the funeral mass. Cremation will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can kindly be made to the family to assist with funeral costs.