Remembering Pepin

RIP Jose (Pepin) Bou, 1929-2019

Pepin was born in Santiago de Cuba. He got his degree in Chemical Engineering from The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. in 1955. That summer he married Celia Martinez in Santiago and went to work in a Cuban nickel project in New Orleans. In 1957, he was transferred to the Cuban nickel location in his native Oriente Province. The nickel mine at Moa Bay was closed in March of 1960 and the Communist government confiscated it in August. In 1961, Che Guevara forced all the ex-Moa Bay Cuban engineers to go back to Moa to start operations. Pepin was in that group. He was able to escape from Cuba a few months later.

His exile life started working in New Orleans again in 1962. From then on, he had a very successful professional career in Louisiana, St. Croix ( U.S. Virgin Island ) and Washington D.C. He retired in 1992 as president of the International Light Metal Division of Martin Marietta Corp. in Washington D.C.

Celia and Pepin bought their first home in Key Biscayne in 1986, and then moved permanently in 1992. Pepin was an avid golfer and played several times per week for many years. He was a member of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club and the Key Biscayne Beach Club. Pepin immensely enjoyed being with his friends and was loved by many. The gatherings at the Bou’s house were unforgettable. He loved cooking for a crowd. His “arroz con pollo” was the best in Miami.

Pepin is survived by Celia, his loving wife of 64 years and his four children and their respective families, Celia Maria of Chicago, Jose of Washington D.C., Javier of Atlanta, GA and Elena of Key Biscayne. Also four grandchildren, his sister Elena, who lives in Honduras, and many cousins and nephews living all over the U.S. and abroad.

Jorge Blanco, A friend of Pepin for 64 years

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