Raul "Lucho" Suray

September 16, 2023
Read more about the life story of Raul "Lucho" and share your memory.    
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Raul Suray Cornejo passed away the night of Saturday, September 16th in Nassau University Medical Center after battling aspiration pneumonia due to his dementia. He was 85 years old. 

Most knew my grandfather as Lucho, to me, he was Papa Lucho. He was a beloved and wise father figure to many in his life, a loyal friend, a devoted husband and loving grandfather. 

Papa Lucho was born on October 5th, 1937 in the seaport of Callao in Peru, the only son of Lucia and Virgilio Suray. He grew up in an hacienda where his father was the foreman, along with his sisters Matilde, Juana and Zoila. He later was blessed with  two more sisters Carmen and Isabel. He always had a curious mind which would often get him into trouble. His favorite story to tell was when he managed to stop the water supply of the hacienda by sticking his soccer ball into one of the main pipes.

His father passed away during a tragic accident where he was struck by a horse when Papa Lucho was only four years old. 

Papa Lucho’s uncle claimed a single, widowed mother could not raise a boy so he took him away and put him to work at the horse stables at the young age of five. He spent his childhood tending horses and aspired to become a professional jockey one day. 

Many who knew Papa Lucho can attest to the fact that he was an incredible mathematician and possessed the ability to fix anything, combined with quick wit and a zest for adventure. In school, he excelled in math and science and later enrolled in technical school to become a mechanic. At age 19, this became his reality and he started working as a boat mechanic. 

His life completely changed when he laid eyes on my Mama Dora, the light of his life. Those who were fortunate enough to know him knew that this was love at first sight. He always had a crush on this “pretty girl with green eyes” from his neighborhood, though she had a boyfriend. The moment he discovered they were broken up, he swooped in, approached her, and their love story began. 

His devotion to my grandmother is an inspiration and testament to the power of love, and even when he was diagnosed with dementia, his love for her was unwavering. He was always at her side, singing her love songs, and inviting her to a slow dance, and before dementia took his ability to do so, writing love poems to his one true love.


After marrying my Mama Dora on July 23, 1960, he became a father to my uncle Raul, mother Lucia, and uncle Rolando. His children recall fond memories of their parents throwing family gatherings, brimming with food, sangria and salsa dancing where Papa Lucho was the star dancer. 

Papa Lucho later took a job with an American commercial fishing company called Starkist, which you may recognize as one of the biggest tuna brands that still operates today. This job was in the fishing port of Chimbote, thus he eventually moved the family to this town. Many can recall his stories of his beloved boat “Stephanie,” a name he wanted to name his baby girl which was swiftly vetoed by Mama Dora. 

When Peru was in the grips of a military dictatorship, Starkist became nationalized. Due to the changing economy and political landscape, he decided to bring his family back to Callao. After this move, he started working for SIMA, a shipyard that mainly served the navy of Peru. 

At the same time during the eighties, the Shining Path insurgent group in Peru threatened the safety of civilians and launched a widespread campaign of terror. With the sage advice of his in-laws, who were living in the United States, he moved his family to Uniondale, New York, in the fall of 1985. 

Papa Lucho created a new home in the suburbs of Long Island and grew increasingly involved with his community. He became a member of the Uniondale Hispanic Association and member of St. Martha’s Church, where he became a lector. He was beloved by the congregation — instead of reading scripture, he would, impressively, recite passages from memory. 

We all know how hard-working Papa Lucho was. He was always happy to come home to his family, records, tools, a soccer game, and a cold glass of Inca Kola. He retired at age 76 when dementia and other health issues took over his life. 

Papa Lucho loved music, and if you visited his home, you were bound to hear a record playing — anything from Beethoven to salsa to classic movie soundtracks. Without fail, if he heard music — it did not matter what kind — he would start dancing and often get others to dance too. His gusto for dancing was contagious, and he was always 

described as the life of the party. 

He took his final dance on August 23rd at Lido Beach with Mama Dora, shortly before he spent a number of weeks in the hospital due to pneumonia.


We are devastated by his loss but know that he is no longer suffering and we are proud to continue his legacy. He is survived by his sisters Juana and Carmen, wife Dora, children Raul, Lucia, and Rolando, grandchildren Flavio, Fernanda, me, Daniela and Andrew, and great-grandchildren Braydon, Cristian, and Cassandra.


We will always remember him as the forever-smiling Papa Lucho, with his endless life advice, who loved Messi, classical piano music, Rioja wines, classic films, and above all, his family, 

Any time we gather, in classic Peruvian fashion with our family, music, dancing, and Inca Kola, we know he will be watching over us. We will always hold fond memories of his dancing, playful spirit, and love for his family near and dear to our hearts. 

I’d like to share a poem he wrote to Mama Dora, translated by my mother, that was a true testament to his character and devotion to his wife: 

Some men get rich with oil, 

Others get rich with gold, 

Others get rich with stocks and bonds, 

Others with real estate,

Others in dubious ways, 

But from all those, 

I know I became the richest of all, 

With the most precious wife 

Who I will forever adore. 

Rest in peace to our poet, Papa Lucho.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Raul "Lucho" Suray, please visit our floral store.


September 20, 2023

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hartnett Funeral Home
561 Jerusalem Avenue
Uniondale, NY 11553

Funeral Mass
September 21, 2023

9:30 AM
St. Martha's R.C. Church ( behind the funeral home)
546 Greengrove Ave.
Uniondale, New York 11553

Graveside Service
September 21, 2023

11:30 AM
Greenfield cemetery
650 Nassau Rd.
Hempstead, New York 11550

Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Orders begin printing on September 27
Online Event

In Loving Memory Of

Raul "Lucho" Suray

December 31, 1969-September 16, 2023

Look inside to read what others
have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   

Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Orders begin printing on September 27
Online Event


In Loving Memory Of

Raul "Lucho" Suray

December 31, 1969-September 16, 2023

Look inside to read what others have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


St. Martha's Church Parish Outreach
546 Greengrove Ave. Uniondale, NY 11553,
Tel: 516-481-2550


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