WETHERSFIELD – Jose Antonio Morales, 85, entered eternal life on Feb. 20, 2015.
He was born on June 13, 1929, in Comerio, Puerto Rico, a son of the late Maria (Santana) and Ruperto Morales.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Luz Maria Morales; his sister, Mariana Morales-Diaz; daughter Nancy Morales; sons Juan, William and Edgar Morales; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased in death by his brothers Antonio Morales Sr. and Natividad Morales Sr., and his sisters Maria Luisa, Rivera and Jovita Morales.
He served his country in the Korean War as a member of the United States Army 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers, which was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014. He moved to Hartford in 1954. He was employed by area employers Olivetti-Underwood, Colt Firearms and the Greater Hartford Business Bureau. He ultimately was a psychiatric social worker with St. Francis Hospital in Hartford while working toward receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in human services in 1982.
On Oct. 5, 1973, he was ordained a permanent deacon by Archbishop John F. Whealon, the first Hispanic man to do so for the Archdiocese of Hartford. He served as a deacon in the Hartford, San Juan, Orlando and St. Petersburg dioceses until his retirement in 2010.
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Peter A. Rosazza celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Feb. 28 at St. Augustine Church in Hartford. Burial with military honors followed at the State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown.