It is with saddened heart that I am writing my dear father’s obituary. Dr. Walfredo Arturo Magarino was born in Camaguey Cuba in 1929. He flew into the United States from Cuba in 1961, leaving the oppressive communist government behind to start a new life in the Country that he loved. He worked two jobs so that he and my mother could finish medical school. They earned their Medical Doctorates from the University of Madrid, Spain. He served the Lakeland community as a physician and surgeon from 1966 to 2021. He never wanted to retire. He was a pilot, competitive shooter, outdoorsman and runner. He was dedicated to his patients and friends. His philosophy was a lifetime dedication to his patients and their families, many times treating 3 to 4 generations of the same family.
Considering all his accomplishments, what meant the most to us growing up was the many lessons he taught us: his persistence, determination, and work ethic. He always insisted on doing what was right. He taught us how to be kind and respect others. He frequently spoke of the values that his grandfather, who was born in 1853, had instilled in him as a young boy growing up on his father’s cattle farm in Cuba. He had a special place in his heart for the elderly, children, and all animals. He genuinely loved to help anyone that needed it.
He was a kind, loving and overprotective father to four girls. He taught us how to be strong and loyal and to think for ourselves. My father loved music (the Beatles, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Otis Reading, John Denver and much more). He loved history, old movies, and poetry. He recited it by heart until the day before his death. We enjoyed fishing and target shooting and long biking excursions with the whole family. We were blessed to have such a fun-loving father that taught us so many things. He was very fit, he practiced what he preached to his patients. He always said “you have to keep moving” even if you have pain. He would say, “If you are over 50 and you wake up and you don’t have pain, it is evident that you passed in the night and have gone to heaven.” He had many clever stories and jokes to tell.
My mother and father were married for 58 years, he would frequently speak of the first day he saw her. He knew that she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He never wanted to move away from the house where his children grew up filled with wonderful memories and a 1970s mustard colored kitchen with coordinating cookware. He fondly remembered his sixth-grade teacher that convinced him to study medicine after he won an anatomy competition at the age of 11. We loved to hear his stories repeatedly and look at old pictures, the only thing he could bring with him from Cuba.
He was a one-of-a-kind, old-fashioned man that taught us to work hard and to never take anything that was not earned. The important truths that we have passed down to his grandchildren. He taught us that there was nothing that we could not accomplished if we just worked hard enough.
He is survived by his daughters, Teresita Magarino Sanchez, Diana Magarino, Vivian Magarino-Gomez, and Zandra Magarino; his sons-in-law, J.R. Sanchez and Erkin Buyukoglu; his grandchildren, Joseph Arthur Christian Sanchez, Jack and Max Buyukoglu, Mason and Griffin Combs and Olivia Gomez.
He died peacefully in the company of his daughter Teresita in Lakeland, the place he loved to live. We will miss you very much Papa. Thank you for everything you taught us, we are very blessed to have had you as our father.
A viewing for Dr. Magarino will be held from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday November 6, 2021, at Heath Funeral Chapel, 328 South Ingraham Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801, with burial to follow at Oak Hill Burial Park, 4620 US Hwy 98S, Lakeland 33812.
Thank you to all the healthcare workers we met along the way. We will never forget your kindness. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.