José David Gaytán was born in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, Mexico. He came to the U.S. seeking a better future, settling in Omaha.

He opened La Michoacana on 24th and F Streets, selling Mexican snacks, paletas and ice cream. Despite a rocky start, he and his wife Vaneza Ramos worked hard and built up a successful business.

“He was a strong and hard-working person. He had many goals, he always made it because he was a dedicated man. He loved his family. He was very joking and cheerful, but robust in character. He wanted a big family and he made it,” Ramos said.

When José began to feel ill, he did not want to go to the doctor. As his condition worsened, the family took him to the hospital on May 22, 2020, where he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He passed away at noon on May 31.

“It’s been excruciating,” said Vaneza. “But I’m going to follow his legacy and his projects for him and his children. He managed to have a large family and fulfilled his dream; it’s the comfort I have.”

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