Tacos El Mexicano owner dies from coronavirus, wife remembers commitment to community

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – If you’ve ever eaten at Tacos El Mexicano off of California Avenue, a sweet little lady is always there to greet you with your flautas and pastor tacos. That’s Veronica Cruz. Her other half just passed away from coronavirus and she wants his death to serve as a reminder that the pandemic isn’t over.

Armando Cruz was 51 years young when he died this past Saturday from complications of coronavirus. He was a healthy man who left behind three kids and six grandchildren.

“A lot of people don’t believe it’s true,” Cruz said of the coronavirus.

Cruz opened Tacos El Mexicano in Topeka with his wife in 1998. He was known for being a big supporter of the annual Fiesta Mexicana, the festival that takes over Topeka’s Oakland neighborhood every summer.

“People have to take care, watch everybody — each other,” Cruz said.

Radio DJ Gerardo Corpus now wears a shirt that says ‘Protejete y proteje a los demas’: ‘protect yourself and others.’

“Just a good, good, good friend,” Corpus said. “A good man, a good father and a good grandpa.”

Corpus and Cruz worked together for 20 years at La Equis 1250 AM, a Kansas City radio station. The two hosted community events and fundraisers, even recently they brought on health officials to make sure listeners received up-to-date information about coronavirus stressing the severity of the virus.

“He always helped people, the community,” Corpus said. “He always worked for that. He don’t care about the money.”

He started a segment on the radio offering helpful advice, popping up tents to help raise money for people planning funerals, and in 2011 helping a complete stranger from Joplin who needed help after the EF-5 tornado.

“Do you want to be like your grandfather talking on the radio,” said Veronica Cruz to her grandson.

Who wouldn’t want to be remembered as the guy with a big heart?

To donate to his family, click here.

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