A civil war in his native El Salvador caused Bladimir Lazo to flee to the United States not once, but twice.
He first came to the U.S. in the late 1970s but was forced to return home after a few years. He came back in the early 1980s, and after a few years, the U.S. government granted him permanent residency. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the early 1990s.
“He came here, achieved the American dream, became an American citizen, and got his little piece of the pie,’’ said his son Henry, of Hauppauge.
Bladimir Lazo, of Brentwood, who worked so hard to create a better life for himself and his family, died on May 1 at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre due to complications from COVID-19, his family said. He was 70.
Lazo was born in rural Morazan, El Salvador, on July 25, 1949, the oldest of six children. His father died when he was very young, and Lazo had to leave school as a child to go to work to help support his mother and his siblings.
After he came to the U.S. permanently, he sent for his future wife, Amparo Flores, to come from El Salvador and join him. Together, they had three children before they separated: sons Henry and Jovany and daughter Janet.
Without a formal education, Lazo learned the woodworking trade, and on Long Island he worked in factories, making cabinets and furniture, his sons said. At the time of his death, he was working for Forecast Consoles in Hauppauge.
Lazo liked soccer, and his favorite team was Real Madrid. Henry remembers taking him to see the Spanish team play in a preseason game at MetLife Stadium last summer, against rival Atletico Madrid. Lazo didn’t know much about American football, but he attended all of Jovany’s football games for Brentwood High School and later for Nassau Community College.
“He would come over after the games, not knowing if we won or we lost,’’ recalled Jovany, now a police officer in Freeport, with a chuckle. “But he was always there. He supported me always.’’
Lazo also took care of his sister, Anna Perla, during her battle with cancer. She died on May 14, one day after Bladimir was buried at Oakwood Cemetery, in Bay Shore. She also died from complications related to COVID-19.
Bladimir Lazo’s other survivors include his mother, Leanor Lazo, 97, who lives in El Salvador; brother Napoleon Lazo and sister Nelly Lazo, both in El Salvador; daughters Janet Lazo of Texas and Briseyda Lazo of Brentwood; and nine grandchildren.