Abilio Hernandez was born on Feb. 22, 1942, in Cuba under the communist regime, which he fled when he was only 19 years old.
With only a few dollars in his pocket and with God's divine providence, he made his way to Panama with a visa provided by its archbishop. There, he stayed at a small apartment set up by the Catholic Church for Cuban refugees. However, he found himself having to flee the ever-reaching grasp of communism within Panama.
But again, with the divine providence of God, Abilio obtained the money and airfare needed to travel to New York where he worked numerous small jobs, including that of a dishwasher at Guy Lombardo’s, in order to pay for college. All this and at the same time he was able to assist his parents in immigrating to New York and siblings to Mexico. Shortly after arriving in the U.S. though, the Selective Service drafted him into the U.S. Army, where he served as a chaplain's assistant in Germany at the Headquarters of the 7th Corps.
After returning to New York, he graduated with an associates degree in chemistry from Nassau University followed by a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Adelphi University in 1970. He wound up in California, where he attended and graduated from the newly established UCI School of Medicine. While interning in 1974, he met his wife, a nurse, at the V.A. Hospital in Long Beach.
Abilio was admired by colleagues and patients alike as an adult, adolescent, and child psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist. A faithful attendee of St. Anne's Catholic Church in Seal Beach, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, with whom he volunteered. After a nearly two-year battle with cancer, Abilio passed peacefully in his home in Seal Beach on March 29, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, six children, and eight (soon to be nine) grandchildren.