Luis Diaz

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024

Words are insufficient to capture the essence of this life so well-lived. The timing of the earthly departure of Luis Diaz was unexpected to those of us here, but the Psalmist tells us that Luis’s days were ordained by God before he was placed in his mother’s womb. Luis fully grasped the need in his life to be close to God, and in the midst of our earthly sorrow, words Luis spoke often can be of comfort to us – from James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

With the brilliance of a finely cut gemstone, the many facets of Luis’s life reflected on all who were honored to have known him. Luis was known for incorporating precious gemstones into his artwork, and envisioning the beauty of these magnificent jewels can help us remember all of the facets of Luis’s life.

The first significant facet of Luis’s life lies in his identity. Luis Diaz was born April 11, 1948, in Costa Rica and was proud to have earned his United States citizenship. He attended Holy Cross School in New Orleans and was a proud alum, making lifelong friendships there and supporting this beloved institution his whole life. Louisiana Tech is where Luis fine-tuned his God-given talents as an architect. In 1974, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture, and in 1981, he earned an additional Bachelor of Architecture degree. He developed a work ethic at a young age that could rival the stamina and drive of anyone. Luis worked in multiple architectural and building firms throughout his career, serving as project designer and manager on several million-dollar building projects. His building career culminated in the development of his own construction business, Luis Diaz Construction, where he designed and built beautiful custom and spec homes. Throughout his life, Luis has excelled in everything he has done because of his work ethic and drive to abide by the words of Colossians 3:23 – to do everything he did heartily, as unto the Lord.

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Another facet of Luis’s life is reflected in his relationships. Aside from his identity as a child of God, his most notable reward was the life partner God chose for him nearly 50 years ago – Martha Ann Turner. Luis and Martha Ann met in college and were married March 1, 1975. Martha Ann has always been the perfect personable and outgoing complement to Luis’s more calculated and conscientious manner, and one could not find a happier, more endearing couple than the Diazes. Their marriage has been blessed with many wonderful friendships and a lifetime of shared adventures traveling, enjoying fine cuisine, and representing their faith and love for God and one another.

A very visible facet of Luis’s life was his pride in his physical and spiritual health. Luis was the most masculine of men, but he was also incredibly sensitive and humble. Luis took pride in strengthening his body from his early years. He excelled in playing football, in practicing martial arts, and in hunting and processing his own meat. He also was an avid saltwater fisherman and diver, enjoying the underseascapes the same as he enjoyed nature and landscapes. He was an ardent believer in maintaining a healthy body and mind, and vigorously and enthusiastically exercised up until he took his final breath. With the same intensity that he worked and strengthened his physical body, he honed his spiritual self. Luis was raised in the Catholic faith and cherished his times in school at Holy Cross, proud of being a lifelong Tiger. Luis was active in church, as well, all through his adult life serving in many roles within the body, but also mentoring young people in the Christian faith.

A final facet of Luis’s life is reflected in his work ethic. Early in his life Luis developed a heartiness for work that could rival the stamina and drive of anyone. Luis was gifted with many talents, and his vocational pursuits spanned many areas. Luis was a gifted architect, designing some of the most beautiful homes and buildings that only a contractor with the mind of an artist could conjure. He worked as project designer and manager for noteworthy projects and in later years started his own construction company. More recently, Luis was a certified interpreter in the federal court system. Luis was fluent in Spanish, and he was one of only a few who was certified to interpret and translate for Mississippi courts and the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission. He was foremost a beloved and passionate artist. Luis’s works were inspired by his appreciation for God’s gift of the splendor of nature. Luis could put onto canvas what others could only dream of creating in their minds. He used watercolors and acrylics to capture beautiful tropical scenes and landscapes and often encrusted paintings with precious and semi-precious stones or embellished his works with 24k gold or platinum leaf. His paintings have been exhibited from Maui to Mazatlan and grace many professional buildings from hospitals to banks. One of his finest achievements is his glowing marine themed pieces which were commissioned by Yamaha Motor and Mako Marine Corporation.

Luis leaves behind his best friend and wife of 49 years, Martha Ann, plus innumerable family members, loved ones, and cherished friends. Luis would offer a favorite encouraging scripture to us during this time. Psalm 109:26-27 reads, “Help me, LORD my God; Save me according to Your mercy. And may they know that this is Your hand; You, LORD, have done it..”

Visitation will be from 9 until 11 a.m. Friday, April 26, 2024, at Glenwood Funeral Home, followed by a Funeral Mass at St Michael Catholic Church. Burial will be in Greenlawn Gardens Cemetery.

To honor the life of Luis Diaz, in lieu of flowers, please send memorials to his beloved alma mater Holy Cross School, 5500 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70122.