Obituary for Michael "Henry" Menezes
Michael Henry Menezes passed away May 14, 2017. He was born on July 20, 1935 to Leonard and Carmen De'Souza Menezes in Georgetown, Guyana. He had 3 sisters, Angela, Thelma and Doreen; and1 older brother, Ivan. He is survived by his two sisters, Thelma and Doreen; six nephews, ten nieces, and 30+ great nieces and nephews most here in the US and some still in Guyana. He also left behind many great-great nephews and nieces and several great-great-great nieces and nephews to mourn our loss.
Michael worked at a Brewery of beer and rum in Demarara, up the river from Georgetown. Like any good catholic putagee (Guyanese equivalent of poor white, without the trash, except he became an expert in getting trashed). Whenever he got drunk he would start an argument with anyone who would listen to him and it usually involved his only brother dying very young. He had never gotten over the loss of his older brother Ivan when they were sixteen and fourteen, respectively. Boozing had become his chemo-therapy; plus it seemed cheaper than paying a doctor in Guyana.
In 1977 Michael left Guyana for Amityville, New York where he moved into a house with his niece Pamela Westford Reid and her two boys Ifeanyi and Christopher Reid. He found work at a factory manufacturing plant and continued supporting himself and his only two habits; beer and cigarettes. At some point, nobody remembers exactly when, Henry stopped drinking without ever going to detox or an AA meeting. He must have dreaded the thought of having to give up his family because nobody wanted to be bothered with him; and decided that he would give up beer instead. He kept the cigarettes at this time though.
Henry loved to play cards; spades, rummy, trup-trall, and Solitaire. Oh how he loved his solitaire. He may have already been in the states when gambling was legalized and lotto came out in New York. He faithfully bought lotto tickets every Wednesday in hopes that he would hit the big one and do something grand for his people. He was very generous, he liked to give a niece or nephew a $5 or $10 spot but he would have to loan anything above that. He would give you a hard time until he got his money back because he was sure that when he was getting drunk, everyone got the best of him by borrowing money knowing he probably would not remember it when he was drunk.
Shortly before he quit smoking cigarettes, Uncle Henry would go out on the porch to light up and start complaining how he was wasting his money on something that made him spit and made his belly blow up. He said the smoke was going to his “guts.” When you asked him what he was having because he looked pregnant, he said “I’m having a big peanut butter sandwich. He loved peanut butter sandwiches and cereal with butter pecan ice cream on top.
Uncle Henry appointed Alison as his Gal-Friday for about the last 5 years. She was the taxi, nurse, social services advocate, secretary, and personal shopper. She says he was her personal banker for loans in exchange. He was no longer getting drunk so believe it; he got all his money back and then some.
Arrangements are under the careful direction of Lohman Funeral Home Palm Coast. Condolences and memories are welcome to be shared with the family via this online guestbook.