Fernando Arrufat

Fernando Arrufat, 73, passed away Monday, January 7th, 2019 at Brightview Senior Living in Warren, New Jersey. Fernando was born August 7th, 1945 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and was later raised and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He attended school in Brooklyn and Montana before joining the Marine Corp and then went on to study Criminal Justice from John Jay College in New York City.

Fernando was a proud member of the U.S. military as a Marine from 1967 to 1970 and served as a Sergeant and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He met his beautiful bride and wife of 43 years, Judith Estelle Ayala, after returning from the war. They married in December of 1970 in Brooklyn, NY.

In 1970, Fernando began his lifetime career and service with the United States Government as a Special Agent and Criminal Investigator for the Department of Treasury and United States Customs Service. In his 26 years of service, Fernando travelled throughout the US and South America as an U.S. Agent in the War on Drugs, actively participating in multiple drug seizures and criminal investigations. He retired in 1996 with numerous honors and commendations. Apart from his military and government service the country, Fernando enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He had a deep passion for music and was a talented, self-taught guitarist and songwriter. He also had a love and great talent for cooking. Though, his greatest joy perhaps was the time he spent caring for and showering love on his three grandchildren. For them, he was the best Papa, being there for them, carting them around to where they wanted to go, and spoiling them as only a loving grandfather can.

A special thanks to the loving staff at the Visiting Nurse Association Hospice Care in Somerset Hills and Brightview Senior Living in Warren for their loving care and support during his final days.

Fernando is survived by his daughters, Lainie Ann Kepley and Katherine MacDonnell; his grandchildren, Harrison John Kepley, Kate MacDonnell and Jack Patrick MacDonnell; his brothers Agapito and Aladin Diaz; the Rodriguez Family, Toni and Angelo Rodriguez, Anthony and Leslie Rodriguez along with nieces and nephews Michael, Christian, Sophia, Sebastian and Kamilla, among many other loving family, nieces and nephews. Fernando was preceded in death by his wife Judith Arrufat in 2013.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, January 13, 2019, from 2-6 p.m. at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd. Watchung, NJ. A funeral service will be held on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the funeral home followed by interment at Washington Crossing Cemetery, Washington Crossing, PA. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the VNA of Somerset Hills Hospice via https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/visitingnurse or to the Veterans Affairs at https://www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/default.asp