OBITUARY

Carlos Baeza

April 3, 1954July 28, 2020

Bergenfield, NJ-It is with deep sadness that the family of Carlos Antonio Baeza announces his sudden passing on July 24, 2020, at his residence in Bergenfield, New Jersey, from complications related to high blood pressure. Carlos was 66 years old.

Carlos was born on April 3, 1954, in Montclair, New Jersey to Alma Louise Brown Baeza and Dr. Marco Antonio Baeza. While an infant, he emigrated with his parents and older brother, Mario, back to Havana, Cuba, where he lived until the age of four. The family returned to the United States (New Jersey) in 1958.

Carlos attended grammar school at Our Lady of the Lake School in Verona, New Jersey, where the family had purchased a home. He graduated from Verona High School, where he was a standout athlete in football and track, and began his career as a professional drummer playing in both R&B and Jazz bands.

Carlos also earned a B.A. in Communications from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. Throughout his college years, he continued to play drums in various, popular music groups using funds earned as a musician to help pay for his college expenses. In addition to his first love as a musician, Carlos held a number of commercial and retail sales positions, finding his greatest satisfaction as a Certified and Licensed Gemologist, appraising and selling diamonds and precious stones for several, high-end jewelry establishments, including Diamond Wholesalers Incorporated, where he rose to become a top salesman and developed his own lifelong private clients. Prior to Diamond Wholesalers, he worked at Belden Jewelers, where he was promoted to store manager in Long Island, N.Y., and regional stores manager based in Nashua, New Hampshire.

In keeping with his rich family legacy in music, throughout his career in the jewelry industry, Carlos maintained his commitment to music as a professional drummer, writer and composer. He would often schedule vacations to be able to tour with bands and orchestras, such as those accompanying the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Boys Choir of Harlem and the orchestra for the Off-Broadway musical, “Starchild,” performed at Joe Papp’s Public Theater in New York City. Later in his career, Carlos earned a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Phoenix and became a devoted middle school teacher in the Bergen and Essex County public school systems. For nearly 15 years, he taught General Science, Math, and Physics, and received special recognition for his innovative teaching methods that connected music and music theory with traditional science, leading to demonstrable improvement in his pupils‘ learning and test scores. A confirmed bachelor, Carlos was devoted to his family, especially to his brother, Mario, and his extended family, to whom he was affectionately known as “Los” or “Uncle Los”. He is survived by his older brother, Mario Leon Baeza, his aunt, Sister Trinita Baeza, nieces Ariel Cristina Baeza and Jati Mariana Baeza, nephew Miguel Mario Baeza and a host of cousins, including Byron Lewis, William Brown III, Cheryl Noble, and dear lifelong friends, including Wendell Edmonds, and too many more to mention here.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, Carlos’ family will plan a memorial service to take place in New Jersey once the threat to travel and physical gatherings subsides. Those friends who wish to receive notice of the memorial service should leave their contact information at the following e-mail address: CBaezaMemorial@gmail.com In the meantime, please keep our dear Carlos’ spirit alive in your hearts and in your prayers. Arrangements for cremation are entrusted to Neptune Cremation Society, Paramus, NJ.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Carlos Baeza

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JANET HARAZDA

October 2, 2020

To family and friends of Carlos Baeza,
I am so sorry to hear about Carlos' passing. I knew him from public school in Verona, NJ. I did not know him well, but I was always curious about him because I could tell he had a lot of natural hidden talents and I would have loved to see him in his various elements. I am so impressed by everything he did, and I am so sorry I didn't keep up my communications with him once I found him--- I think it was on classmates.com many years ago. I always thought of him when I would watch "the Simpsons" because his same name would come up at the top of the show's credits! So that was my first question for him--"was that you?!" back then. I thought for sure it could be, given his creative talents. I'm guessing I was not the only one who asked him that question!

Robin Young

August 24, 2020

The coolest next door neighbor during my childhood. I loved hearing the music all hours of the day/night and asking my mom can I stay up to listen or go and knock on their door to see whose playing and just to be a part of. I lost touch with many of my neighbors but Carlos found me on Facebook and tried to call me a few weeks before his passing . Unfortunately, we didn’t connect and I’m deeply saddened. To Mario, Carlos expressed how you were in Cuba doing well and that I should reach out . My mom, Vivian also shared her many memories of you , Carlos , your mom and dad. We , the Young family of Verona extend our deepest condolences . Nassau Raif will forever hold many wonderful memories of such a diverse mix of people!!!

Sari Barocas

August 21, 2020

My heart breaks to learn of Carlos' passing. I so wanted to see him again; I waited too long. I miss him.

Mario, my heart goes out to you. I know how much he loved you and looked up to you. May Carlos rest in peace. May his love for you soothe the pain, and may your memories of him comfort you and bring you peace. Wishing you the best during this difficult time.

An old friend of Carlos,
Sandy (Sari)

Randy Connell

August 21, 2020

Randy Connell

August 21, 2020

Mario,
I express my sincerest sympathy on Carlos’s passing.
My family lived on Martin Rd. And my late brother Pat was
a schoolmate of Mario’s.
Once again, my condolences- “Los” will be missed.
Randy Connell and Family

Wendell Edmund

August 18, 2020

(cont'd) ...I think that he had a vision of life with a family but never achieved it even though I believe that he would have made the best husband and a great father. He wore his heart on his sleeve but never would kiss and tell. He was mysterious that way.
I can’t think of one person that has anything bad to say about him. This past Christmas he picked me up at Penn Stations like he always did when I came home and we all (my Mom and daughter) went out to dinner at the State Street Diner in Bloomfield. That was something else that we loved to do; find a Jersey Diner and pig out. We laughed and talked like we had all the time in the world. But we didn’t.

The last time we spoke we talked for 2 hours and 43 minutes. What in the world were we talking about? We talked about the world, a world that now has a big hole in it where my beloved friend once stood. This tragedy made me realize that I’m closer to the end than I am to the beginning.  I am blessed and honored to be given the opportunity to have known, love and share my life with him. His going home first makes the thought of death much easier to deal with knowing that “my man Los” is on the other side waiting for me when I get there.

Rest in Peace, My Dear Dear Brother, I will miss you.

Wendell Edmund

August 18, 2020

(cont'd) During our High School years we went to dances and parties but it wasn’t until we got our license that we really began to expand our horizons.

“Moms” (Mrs.Baeza) had a 62 Dodge Dart and “the Baez” (Mario) had a 68’ Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible that he left behind when he went to Cornell. We used those cars to go to jazz concerts in NYC at the The Filmore East, The Village Gate or The Village Vanguard. We drove to jam sessions all over Jersey.  
The Baez would also send us on great adventures – drive to Cornell to be in a play “To be Young Gifted and Black” Mario was the Music Director. Then bring his MGB-GT up to Harvard for the weekend, Los would be styling a scarf and Sherlock Holmes pipe. He always drove. I think out all the things he did driving was his passion. He would drive I would sleep. He was the most requested driver when he drove limos on the off season from teaching. He was steady behind the wheel and a great listener.

I went to visit him at Hampton and Seton Hall during his college days and again he travelled in many circles and was loved by all. At one point I convinced him to move to NH close to me and sell Jewelry.
In my darkest hours it was Los that pulled me aside and talked to me in a way that changed my life. His opinion of me meant so much that I put my life back on the right track before it was too late. He saved my life and I am forever grateful.
Mr. Baeza, Science Teacher, that’s the profession where he shinned the most. He loved teaching and the kids loved him. Los was very proud of his nieces and nephew and spoke of them often.  

He never married but I remember a conversation we had one time when he lived alone in a giant house in Englewood NJ - he said to me,” Wendell man what good is having a big house like this if there’s no love in it? I didn’t have the answer but I understood what he meant...(cont'd)

Wendell Edmund

August 18, 2020

(cont'd 2/3) ...We would occasionally bring up Darryl Wheeler and Doug Allen from Montclair to spice up things. When it came time for Los to play he would absolutely wow them with Afro-Cuban beats, funky rhythms and grooves. He had that special showmanship and flair that nobody had, twirling the sticks around then crossing them over on his black diamond pearl drum set. He was amazing.
When it came to sports I was his biggest fan. I cheered the loudest at the high school basketball and football games (ole’ 89). The older kids on my street would get into these mad basketball games behind the Hatchett’s house, Los would play and do these Harlem Globetrotter like moves shooting from oddball angles and faking from side to side. He called them his slip hip and dip moves. The guys would be like “Oh no” and shout out “Los with another circus shot” and “Los from the outside.” On our way home I would say Los you killed them man, I would be so proud...(cont'd on next post)

Wendell Edmund

August 18, 2020

My Man Los
What is there to say about a lifelong friend and brother who I loved immensely that is gone? Los was a Lone Wolf with the heart of a Bear and the Soul of a Dove. You were more likely to see him post a picture of beautiful flowers or kittens rather than any political meme. In fact when I would try to get him going politically he would reply “Oh Boy” and I knew to change the subject. He had better things to talk about.
I saw him for the first time when we were about nine years old standing on the corner of Nassau Rd. and Pompton Ave. He was wearing a white shirt and tie. First, I had never seen anyone wear a tie when it wasn’t a Sunday and second, I didn’t know that Catholics had their own schools. It wasn’t until he switched to the public schools and invited me over to his house that we became the best of friends. From the early days it was always great fun and good times. Whether it was going to the White Castle for hamburgers, riding our bikes, racing slot cars in the basement or going to the Verona pool (where he had perfected a fearless swan dive off the high board) we were always together.
When we reached our teen years we discovered the wonderful world of music. I played harmonica and a little guitar and Los played the drums. Mario (his older brother) was our idol; he had the hottest band in Jersey, “Mario and the Immortals.” We would either follow Mario around or jam with records on the side porch. Los had the record player and great speakers, I had the records. We spent hours listening to everything: the Beatles, James Brown, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Grand Funk Railroad and The Last Poets we played them all.
As drummers go, in our town we had great ones Nick Rolli, Ron Mattia, Lenny Rodino to name a few. We often participated in jam sessions held in a shack across from the high school at the Rifle Range with local talents Vinnie Trapasso and Willie Desantis on guitar...(continued in next post 1/3)

Laura Owens

August 13, 2020

To Mario Baeza and to the entire family:

Your brother Carlos, was a very special and devoted friend to me. We lost contact following our undergraduate years. However, reconnecting with Carlos, after many years, has enriched my life. We shared our love of music, and a few mutual friends. And oh those Afro-Cuban drums. Your brother was the most gifted drummer I have ever known, personally. I am stunned by this sudden departure. Yet, I cannot think of anyone who was more passionate about experiencing life to the fullest, than Carlos Antonio Baeza. He did live each moment, fully. We had not spoken in approximately 4 weeks - and this was not unusual for us. “Los’s“ physical absence will never diminish the precious moments; the laughter, the physics lessons, pecan pie, the Top Diner, and his genuine love for the Garden State.

Carlos was a man who loved privacy; nearly as much as he loved and admired his slightly older brother. If I had a brother, I would surely want a similar bond. May God sustain you and your family in the difficult days, and months ahead as you adjust to a slightly different world. You have my deepest condolences.
This is a tremendous loss for us all.

With Love,
Laura Owens & family

FROM THE FAMILY

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