Abilio de Almeida Miguel

Postumo Marshal - 2006

“Miguel”, as he was known to everyone, was born 2/21/1935 in Ribeira do Marete – Vimeiro, Portugal.  Miguel was raised on the family farm by his mother along with his older brother and sister.  In 1961 Miguel left his family in Portugal to seek out a new life in America.  He settled in Elizabeth, NJ and in 1964 married Elizabeth da Costa.  Miguel and Elizabeth had two daughters, Theresa (Veiga) and Christine (Grova).

In 1967 Miguel started his company, Elizabeth Masonary Contractors.  Over the 20+ years his construction company operated, Miguel gave jobs and opportunities to numerous Portuguese immigrants of the local community.

Miguel was a dedicated member of Our Lady of Fatima Church of Elizabeth.  He was a member of the Organizaçâo dos Cruzados de Fatima and served as President for the years ’78-’79-’80’-‘81.  One of Miguel’s greatest pleasures was to sing weekly in the Our Lady of Fatima 8:00 am choir.  His talent and love of singing made him a regular to be called upon to sing the Portuguese National Anthem at various functions.

In 1978 Miguel was one of the Charter Members of the Elizabeth Portuguese Lions Club.  He served as President of this organization from 1986-87.  He remained an active and dedicated member his entire life and was a constant presence at White Cane collections, basket distributions to the needy, and carving turkeys on Thanksgiving for the poor.  In 1994 he was honored by the EPLC with a “Melvin Jones Fellow”. 

Miguel was an active member of PISC.  During his lifetime he served on a wide variety of committees and organizations associated with “the Club”.  In 1982 Miguel was given the honor of being named a “Socio Benemerito” of PISC.  In 1982/83 he served as President of PISC.

In 1996 Miguel became a grandfather to Angelica (Grova) and Erik (Veiga).  These children were the absolute joy of his life and nothing meant more to him then having a “coffee” at Valenca with Erik or singing the Portuguese Anthem with Angelica.

In 1999, “Lizzy”, his wife of thirty-five years, passed away suddenly.  Although he struggled with grief he maintained an active presence in the community.

In September, 2002 Abilio Miguel lost his battle to cancer.  PISC lowered their flag half-mast in his honor and as a testament to a life dedicated to the Portuguese Community.