Carlos achieved much in his lifetime and received plenty of honors, including having part of Second Avenue in Ybor City named Carlos Fuente’s Way in March. But he most likely considered his family his greatest achievement. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his family. He is survived by his sons Carlos Fuente Jr. and Richard Fuente; daughter Cynthia Fuente-Suarez; brother Arturo Fuente Jr.; grandchildren Liana Fuente, Rosana Fuente, Christina Suarez, Lidiana Fuente, Bianca Suarez, Sofia Fuente and Carlos Fuente III; and three great-grandchildren. His wife of 62 years, Anna Louisa Lopez Fuente, passed away in December.
Also chief among his achievements was the role he played in improving the lives of the Dominican people who lived and worked in the company’s factory and fields through the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation. Donations to honor Carlos’ memory may be made to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation at cf-cf.org. Donations may also be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa at bgctampa.org.
In a statement regarding the passing of his father, Carlos Fuente Jr., president of A. Fuente & Company, wrote:
“On behalf of my sister Cynthia, my brother Ricky and the entire Fuente family, as well as the Arturo Fuente Cigar Company, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for the outpouring of love we have received regarding the passing of our patriarch, Carlos A. Fuente Sr.
“My father was not only a pioneer in the cigar industry, but he was also an amazing family man who will be sorely missed by so many. His legacy, however, will remain with us forever as we continue his tradition of hard work, perseverance and dedication.
“My father always said, ‘I never cared about being the largest cigar manufacturer; I only cared about being the best.’ Well Dad, you were. We will miss you dearly and will remember and continue to honor you each day.”
This story first appeared in the September/October 2016 issue of Tobacconist magazine.