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Frank P. Diaz

Frank P. Diaz of Malba, one of the first Hispanic store owners in the city, passed away on July 6. He was 98 years old.
Diaz, known as Frank P., came to New York from the Dominican Republic in 1924. He worked as a short order cook for 10 years until he decided he wanted his own business.
In 1939, he opened his furniture store, Frank P. Diaz Furniture, on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx. It was the first Hispanic-owned furniture store in the city.
From the beginning, Diaz allowed his customers, who were mostly Hispanic, to buy on credit, something other stores didn’t give them. The loyalty he gave to — and received from — his customers helped the business expand and flourish. His success allowed him to be profiled on CNN and in The Daily News.
“He lived to work,” said his youngest son, Javier.
When he was not working, he spent his time giving back to the community. Diaz, a religious man, was recently given an award for being an original founder and financial backer of Iglesia Evangelica Espanola, the Hispanic Evangelical Church in the Bronx. The Dominican Consul also gave him an award for being one of the first Dominicans in business.
Diaz is survived by his wife of over 30 years, Minerva; his children Frank Samuel Diaz, Norma Diaz, Gilbert Diaz, Frances Rodriquez, Elizabeth Diaz-Stuckey and Javier Francisco Diaz; his son and daughter-in-laws; his 18 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
His family remembers him as a great man with a huge heart who was willing to help anybody.

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