This story is part of an ongoing Miami Herald series chronicling the lives of South Florida COVID-19 victims.
Ramfis Bayardo Arias, 49, loved his children as much as he loved spontaneous celebrations.
His five children agreed: Ramfis Bayardo Arias, who loved basketball and family celebrations, could dominate a room with his charisma.
The Nicaraguan native, who moved to the United States in his teens, worked as a taxi driver and, later, for American Airlines as part of their fleet service. He died April 2 from complications from COVID-19.
“He made everyone that he met laugh or smile,” said his daughter Ashley Arias. “He was charismatic and charming and just so smart. Book smart and street smart.”
He shared a passion for basketball with his oldest son, Jonathan Arias.
“We both had basketball in the blood,” he said.
Each remembered a time when their father randomly treated them to a day on the town. Asked about her most memorable time with her father, his youngest daughter, Abigail Arias, said “every time we got together.”
“We’d always go out to eat or go to the beach or do something fun,” she said.
Kassandra Arias recounted a time during his taxi driver days when he took her downtown and taught her about her culture by visiting a fritanga, a traditional Nicaraguan restaurant.
His youngest son, Ramfis Arias Jr. said he will most miss his father’s guidance and wisdom.
“He treated everyone with respect, and he always knew what was the right thing to do,” he said. “He always had a solution to the problem.
Arias was preceded in death by his parents, Francisco and Nylia Arias, and is survived by his five children