It is with great sadness we share that on July 29, 2021 Osvaldo “Ozzie” Pena, a deeply beloved and long-term TRUE team member, lost his battle with COVID-19. As many of you know, Ozzie not only adored his own family and kept everything running smoothly at work, but he also became like family to his TRUE teammates and many of our clients. It’s impossible to do justice to 28 years of teamwork and friendship, but one has to wonder how he’d want us to attempt it. In 2013, on the occasion of his 20th work anniversary celebration, Ozzie was asked about his life memories at TRUE. His response?
"I’ve got a lot of good stories and good memories from working here all these years…
It’s all better left to the ages, or to let others that have known me tell them.
I would like to say that this is a great place to work and that our leaders are some of the best people
you’ll ever meet. I feel blessed that they consider me their friend."
In keeping with your wishes, Ozzie, a handful of your many friends at TRUE will speak to your legacy of “can-do”, kindness, and zeal for life:
We’ve been down a very long road together. I still remember the day he first showed up at ABS Computers in Lake Park, Florida, sometime in the late 80s. We needed a delivery driver at the end of the year because we were selling so many 386SX computers. We asked him if he had a good driving record. He said, “No”. We asked him if he knew anything about computers. He said, “No”. Then we asked him if he could start Monday. Fortunately for us, he said, “Yes”, and the rest is history. He will always be part of the very fabric of TRUE. We don’t yet know what a TRUE without Ozzie is going to be like. However, we do know that we are a better TRUE for his steadfast, excellent service to us over the years.
Ozzie was loved and cherished by so many of us, for so many reasons. It’s hard to put into words how much of an effect he had us. Since I first met him back in 2005, he was a calming and constant force. So many times over the years, when we would feel the pressures and stresses of life Ozzie would show up with smile and a pat on the back and say, "It’s OK, you can handle this!" …or "Hey, is everything OK? What can I do to help?" Oz-man was the best!
Ozzie was always there when I needed him for anything. Always a smile on his face and ready to do whatever needed to be done. I remember one time when he was getting rid of all his chickens, he asked me to come by his house to pick out the ones I wanted. We ran around getting those chickens rounded up, and I brought home 6 more chickens. He had said he was done with chickens and didn’t want to have them anymore. A few months later I remember him telling me that they had more chickens. I just had to laugh.
So much more could be said, but one phrase rises to the top of mind when thinking of Ozzie…
Ozzie was always the go-to guy for anything others wanted nothing to do with – he always stepped up with a smile on his face and a get it done attitude. It didn’t matter if things were coming off the rails with orders, quotes, deliveries, office items or on personal things that needed to be done – at the end of the day the typical update from Ozzie was simply put, “all set”.
I remember when Ozzie came to the realization that he was a cat person. He had gotten a cat and had fallen head-over-heels in love. From that day on, he and I loved to share our cat stories and pictures with each other. He ended up getting several more cats after that. It was so sweet how his face would light up when he spoke about them.
There are so many things to say about Ozzie. We had a special friendship as fellow Cuban-Americans. We even called each other “muchacho” and “muchacha”.
He was always helping, ALL THE TIME. In fact, Ozzie was so caring that he didn’t stop helping us after work– he also did a lot of personal things for many of us. Case in point, one time when my husband’s tv stopped working, Ozzie went to the store to help us pick out a new one, brought it to the house, and installed it for us!
When I or anyone else apologized for causing him any hassle, he would respond, “Everything is a hassle.” It made you realize that it was always about kindness for Ozzie, not just accomplishing a job, and that he’d do whatever it took. For years, we had a picture of him hanging on the wall with that phrase.
Many years ago when my wife and I were anxiously waiting for the birth of our daughter, Ozzie stopped by my desk on a day when I was particularly stressed out. He asked why I had a timer in the corner of my screen that was counting down 31 days by the minute. I told him it was counting down to my daughter's due date, and this is how I could keep track of how much time I had to get everything done before she was born. Ozzie looked at me, smiled, and said come with me.
He brought me into the kitchen area of the office, poured me one of his famous margarita's and said, "Brother you have to stop stressing so much, you're going to be an awesome Dad no matter if you get all that done or not." In my typical fashion I started back with a rebuttal. He just smiled again patted me on the back, and said, "You know it is OK to relax and enjoy yourself from time to time."
Now, as I write this silly little story down, it doesn't seem to quite cover the enormity of what Ozzie was to me and many others on the TRUE team. This is just one of the times my friend Ozzie, would come to my rescue over the years. Thank you for always being willing to help out, lend some advice, and do anything that was ever needed at any time. I'll miss you until we meet again. I assume you'll have a smile and margarita waiting.
Ozzie, aka the all-knowing (Wizard of) Oz as I sometimes joked, was a repository of information including the historical data and useful facts for TRUE and its predecessors. I knew from my very first days that Ozzie was THE person that you could ask anything, and if he did not know the answer, he knew who to ask. To this day I don’t recall ever stumping him.
The Accounting Department in the West Palm Beach office started having celebratory cakes from TooJay’s Deli. Last August, at a birthday lunch, Rebecca told me she had a surprise for me. Just as we were walking to the entrance of the restaurant, here comes Ozzie in his minivan almost on two wheels (yes, he squealed his tires!!!). He bumped the parking divider in front because he was so excited to see us, he could hardly take the time to park the car. Of course, even brought a Toojay’s chocolate cheesecake with him for birthday dessert.
Ozzie certainly knew how to make an entrance, and what a great surprise it was to see him! I will never forget how we all laughed and smiled because it was so nice to be together after not seeing one another for over 6 months. Ozzie’s enthusiasm was always contagious, and you could not help but be happy any time you were around him. We had a great lunch, and ever since that day Seasons 52 has been our favorite restaurant no matter where in the country we are. It brings back the fondest memories, and we will never forget our first meal there with Ozzie.
For the TRUE 2020 Holiday Celebration, Ozzie and I built a gingerbread house together in the West Palm Beach office. I had the best time watching him meticulously place these tiny decorations on our award-winning house. The time flew by so fast that we didn’t get to finish decorating our wooden soldiers, but the memories of that day and his sheer joy while he was working on our crafts still makes me smile. He gave his heart in everything he did.
“No bueno” was something I always remember of Ozzie saying. I will miss our weekly meeting where just seeing his smiling face made my day better. The world is a sadder place without Ozzie. TRUE has lost a piece of its heart.
Everyone fortunate to have known Ozzie would agree that his life of deeply loving his family and friends; leading with kindness; and always remembering to enjoy life each day can be summarized best in the way he always let us know that everything was going to be okay, that a task was fully complete.
Ozzie, thank you for sharing 28 years of your life with us. You have lived well, and it is with both sadness and immense gratitude that we send you off knowing that you really are, All Set.
Ozzie leaves behind his adoring wife, Jenny, and three sons - Sabian, Sebastian, and Samuel. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, funeral attendance for Ozvaldo Pena will be closed to all but immediate family. However, TRUE will have a celebration of Ozvaldo Pena’s life at later date. If you would like to send flowers, you may send them to All County Funeral Home, 1107 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33460.
Additionally, TRUE is setting up a GoFundMe for the family to help offset the substantial medical expenses as well as the funeral and living expenses for the family as they both mourn and continue their recovery from their own battles with COVID-19. Details on how and where to contribute will follow next week. If you would like to honor the life of Ozzie Pena with a contribution to his family, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org