Jose Miguel Tacoronte Jr., of Miami, surrounded by family and close friends, passed away peacefully on June 4, 2017. He is survived by his wife Yvonne, and two sons Michael and Charles.

Born in Havana, Cuba in January of 1943, Jose Jr. was the only son of Jose Sr. and America Tacoronte. By his own account, he was a precocious youth who excelled in school during his adolescent years. His uncle Juanito was impressed with his potential and when Jose showed an interest in the military, Juanito was instrumental in giving him an opportunity in the United States.

In 1956, at the age of thirteen, Jose left Cuba never to return in order to attend Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. “Tac” as his classmates came to call him, excelled at the military boarding school eventually graduating 2nd in his class. Through the guidance of his mentor Julian Griffin, Citadel class of ‘54, Jose was encouraged to apply for admission into the Corps of Cadets. He entered The Citadel in August of 1960.

Being a Cuban exile during the early 1960’s, he was one of just a few Cubans attending The Citadel during the communist takeover of the island. Mark Clark himself made a special arrangement to have him remain at The Citadel as long as he maintained his grades. He rose to become H Company Executive Officer and a member of the Summerall Guards his senior year, 1964.

After graduation, Jose began his professional career teaching french in Maxim, Virginia. In the late 60’s, he began his pursuit of his Masters in foreign languages at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. During a yearlong assignment in the French Alps, he met his soon-to-be wife, Yvonne. They were married in 1969 by his mentor from Hargrave, Rev. Griffin. For the next several years Jose spent his time teaching and completing his M.A.. His first born, Michael, came along in 1974.

In 1975, Jose left the teaching profession and began work as an entry level banking assistant. He accepted a job shortly afterwards in Miami, Florida. His second born, Charles, came in 1977. For the next thirty years Jose would remain in the South Florida banking industry. He rose to become a Senior Vice President at several South Florida Banks including The International Bank of Miami and Eastern National Bank. Travel was Jose’s passion. He made over three hundred trips during his banking career. He would go on to visit and do business in every country in South and Central America. He traveled extensively in Europe, and touched 6 of the 7 continents.

For my father, The Citadel was a sacred institution that equipped him with the skills necessary to succeed in life. He spoke of it in reverent terms and would often return to Charleston to take in a parade and enjoy the city. The honor of my life was being handed my diploma during commencement from my father when I graduated from The Citadel in 2000.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Citadel Foundation.

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Posted on: 2021-05-17

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