Issue:  Vol. 46 / No. 18 / 5 May 2016

René (Renato) Martinez Peña


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June 28, 1953 – April 13, 2016

Renato was born June 28, 1953 in Camagüey, Cuba to loving parents, Eralio Martinez and Rafaela Peña, and died on April 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California. He is survived by his life partner, Barry Graynor, 10 siblings, and his two beloved cats, Preta and Massimo. In 1980 Renato left Cuba as part of the Mariel boatlift and moved to San Francisco, where he met Barry in 1981.

Renato was a natural painter. His paintings were shown in numerous exhibits throughout the Bay Area and abroad. Renato also published a book on Celeste Mendoza, La Reina del Guaguanco, in 2015.

Renato enjoyed listening to international popular music, especially from Cuba, Italy, Brazil, and France; collecting porcelain figurines, plates and other objects; playing with his cats; and above all, Cuba.

Four words sum up Renato's life: "El Rey del Guaguanco."

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and/or the San Francisco SPCA.

A heartfelt thank you for the sympathy and support our family and friends have shown to us.



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