Ruben Bacani of Holbrook, a retired computer technician who was deeply devoted to his Roman Catholic faith and was an avid fisherman and bowler, has died at age 79 after a long illness, his family said Friday.
Bacani died Wednesday at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
He was born in the Philippines and fell in love with a young woman across the street, but she was a registered nurse and moved to the United States in 1969 as this country was experiencing a nursing shortage.
He followed in 1972 and married Marisa Cabrera on June 16, 1973, in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. The couple lived in Stuyvesant Town at first, then moved to Holbrook in 1976.
"He was a very warm and loving man. He was very gentle and soft-spoken, making those who met him feel comfortable when they were around him," his daughter, Rosalyn Bacani of Brooklyn, said.
His son, Gregory, of Holbrook, also used the word "gentle" to describe his father.
"He was very kind, not a complicated guy," he said. "All he asked us to be was 'Make sure you don't embarrass yourself.' "
Bacani worked as a computer technician at firms in Manhattan until his retirement in 1997. He was an avid enough bowler that his children knew his best score was 279. "The closest he ever came to 300," a perfect game, his daughter said.
He also gathered up the family for fishing trips, usually out of Montauk, and instilled his Catholic faith in his children.
Bacani was in the Knights of Columbus and "attended Mass every single Sunday as long as his health permitted," his daughter said. "He passed that on to us, my brother and I, to always put God first and always count our blessings."
He is also survived by his wife, a retired nurse; a brother, Narciso Bacani, of Los Angeles; and a sister, Zenaida de Mesa, of the Philippines. He was predeceased by another brother, Alfredo, of the Philippines.
Visiting is 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Moloney Funeral Home, 825 Main St., Holbrook. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:45 a.m. Monday at Church of the Good Shepherd, 1370 Grundy Ave., Holbrook. Burial will follow at Queen of All Saints Cemetery in Central Islip.