Gerardo H. Machado, “Gerry”, 88, of Omaha, NE passed away with his family at his side on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
Gerry H. Machado, son of Jose Ramon Machado y Diaz and Carmen Claudina Fernandez y Carreras was born on September 25, 1931 in Havana, Cuba.
He was also the Great Nephew of President Gerardo Machado, the 5th President of Cuba. He received his formal education at La Salle School and then Maristas High School in La Vibora, Havana. In 1949, Gerry played basketball for the Cuban National team and on a trip to play in a tournament in Mexico City he met his wife Graciela “Gracie” Maria del Carmen Leon Barcenas. Gerry was united in marriage with Gracie in Mexico City on August 5, 1954 and they began their married life in Havana, Cuba.
Gerry spent three years in Medical School at the University of Havana and later left medical school and joined the Military College in Managua. Gerry graduated with honors and received a bachelor’s degree in Science. At the Military College he finished top of his class and was awarded 1st SGT, Sgt CM, 2nd Lt and Captain of the Cadets.
As a Captain, in 1957 Gerry was sent into the Sierra Maestra Mountains by Fulgencio Batista to help track down a political upstart named Fidel Castro. For twenty-two months he fought in the mountains during the Cuban Revolution. Frustrated by the current government, Gerry and a group of officers plotted to overthrow Batista. One of the officers was captured and confessed the entire plan and the group of leaders were sent to jail on November 27, 1958. In the SIM (Servicio de Inteligencia Militar) they were tortured. On December 31, 1958 President Batista fled from Cuba and all the political prisoners were released. Later, Gerry found his execution papers and his date of execution was to have been January 6, 1959. Under strict orders he was then recruited by Fidel to work for his regime in Premierato. He was selected out of a list of officers and ordered to stay and work in the Army because of his anti-Batista record. Gerry stayed three months and left on April 17, 1959. On that day through the Mexican Embassy, Gerry was able to flee Cuba to Mexico where his wife and two children would later meet him. The irony was that the victory of Fidel Castro, who Gerry fought against would result in saving his life.
The family lived in Mexico for a short time and arrived in Miami, FL on November 11, 1961. In Miami, it was difficult for Gerry to find work to support his family. After visiting the refugee center, Gracie and Gerry decided to relocate. Their options were New York City and Omaha. The choice was not difficult, they chose Omaha.
In Omaha, the Machado family was helped by a group of families from St. Thomas Moore Church. Gerry worked multiple jobs and then went back to school at the University of Nebraska to receive his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree. His first job as a teacher was as a Professor at UNL. In 1969, he became a citizen of the United States and went to work for Creighton Preparatory High School.
Gerry worked at Creighton Prep for over thirty years where he developed close friendships with the staff and earned the respect of all his students. After his retirement at Creighton Prep he taught Spanish at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His love for teaching was his passion, and it was important for him to make a difference in his student’s lives. Gerry was once quoted as saying “I always told the students that Spanish can be forgotten without practice, but they should remember the values that I taught them throughout their lifetime.”
In 1983, Gerry was awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year at Creighton Prep voted by the student body, and in 1997 he was a Loyola Honoree and inducted into Creighton Prep’s Hall of Fame. In 2007, Gerry received the Excellence in Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
September 25th was an important date for Gerry. It was his birthday, the date he became a US citizen in 1969 and the date he was inducted into Prep’s Hall of Fame in 1997.
Gerry loved all sports, golf and sharing stories with family and friends enjoying a Cuban cigar.
Gerry was blessed with a loving wife, Graciela of 65 years. Gracie was a source of strength and love for their family. Gerry appreciated all she had sacrificed. Gracie was there through the turmoil of Cuba, searching for a new start in Mexico and through the hard times moving to the United States. Grateful for having shared his life are sons Gerardo (Tito) Machado, Jose (Tata) Machado, Robert (Tico) Machado and daughter Graciela (Tita) Pascoe. Additional family members include son-in-law Bryant Pascoe, daughters-in-law Kristie J. Machado, Jane D. Machado and Gina D. Machado. Gerry was also blessed with 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Gerry was preceded in death by parents Jose Ramon Machado y Diaz and Carmen Claudina Fernandez y Carrerras; and brother Roberto Machado.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, THE FAMILY REQUESTS MEMORIALS TO CREIGHTON PREPARATORY SCHOOL.
THE SERVICES WILL BE LIVE STREAMED AT stroberts.com
Friday, August 21, 2020
6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)
John A. Gentleman Mortuaries - Pacific Street Chapel
........................................................................................................................................................... IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, THE FAMILY REQUESTS MEMORIALS TO CREIGHTON PREPARATORY SCHOOL.
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)
St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church
The services will be live streamed at 10:30 A.M. on August 22 at: stroberts.com ........................................................................................................................................ . IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, THE FAMILY REQUESTS MEMORIALS TO CREIGHTON PREPARATORY SCHOOL.