JOSE G. PICKARD OBITUARY:
Jose Guillermo Pickard, 92, of Wethersfield, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 5, 2022 at Hughes Health and Rehabilitation in West Hartford. He was the husband of Sandy (Vallines) Pickard. Born in Arroyo, Puerto Rico on July 25, 1929, he was the son of the late Jose and and Guillermina (Echevarria) Pickard. Jose was drafted into the military to serve in the Korean War when he was 18 years old. He was the only son of his family, so his father was very affected by his departure. Jose served in the army for almost 2 years where he, along with other Puerto Rican soldiers, was integrated into the 65th Infantry Regiment also known as the Borinqueneers. In June 2014, former president Barack Obama signed legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor to the American Heroes of the U.S. Army 65th Infantry Regiment – The Borinqueneers. On April 13, 2016 Jose, along with other honorable soldiers, officially received the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
Jose graduated from communications from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (CAAM) and immediately began working at WMNT in Arroyo, PR as a broadcaster. Eventually, he moved to New York to expand his broadcasting career. He began working for WADO as a broadcaster and was the master of ceremonies for many important events. A few years later, he was offered a position as the program director of WLVH (La Grande) by the owner of the radio station, Mr. Jose Mestre, and he moved to Connecticut to begin his new career. Jose’s voice was extremely powerful, beautiful and original and therefore it was very sought after by the public. He worked part time at WRYM and WPRX, he was the master of ceremonies for many events in many cities, and he recorded many commercials for the Spanish television networks. As time went on, Jose was offered a position as a News Director for Telemundo Hartford. This was incredible for Jose and the Spanish community as this was the first Spanish news program in the City of Hartford. Jose received many medals and awards throughout his life for all of his broadcasting accomplishments. He was honored to be the Godfather of the Puerto Rican Parade in Hartford.
Jose also worked as a housing code inspector for the City of Hartford for approximately 20 years. He had a wonderful retirement party hosted by his co-workers in a very nice Portuguese restaurant in Hartford.
Jose loved music wholeheartedly. He listened to all different genres, but his favorites were old salsa and big bands. He enjoyed playing dominoes, and loved a good party. He really enjoyed the company of good friends and never left an event without making new friends. He loved listening to live music, especially the mariachi. Jose enjoyed celebrating every event no matter how big or how small. He enjoyed ice cold margaritas and Johnny Walker Blue. He made sure he began every week by going to church on Sunday to receive blessings for the new week. He was always smiling; he saw the best in everything and everyone. He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather.
Besides his wife Sandy, Jose is survived by his daughter, Vanetha Pickard and her husband Sebastiano Boccaccio of Wethersfield and his granddaughter Julianna Boccaccio. He was predeceased by his sister, Lydia Pickard. The family will receive relatives and friends from 2 – 5 p.m. on Sunday (June 12) at the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, 277 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Monday at St. Augustine Church, 10 Campfield Ave., Hartford. Everyone is asked to please meet directly at the church. A private entombment with military honors will take place at a later date in the State Veterans Cemetery, Middletown. To leave a message for the family or to view the tribute movie, please visit www.desopofuneralchapel.com