Julio N. Tubatan

Sept. 28, 1959 - Aug. 25, 2017
Julio N. Tubatan, Sept. 28, 1959 - Aug. 25, 2017

At the age of about 15, Julio N. Tubatan left Ecuador for Montauk, working at Gurney’s Inn for three years before returning to his home country, and in 1980, emigrated to the United States for good, living briefly in Queens, before returning to Montauk, where he would stay for the next 37 years and would raise a family of his own. 

He was one of nine children. His entire family eventually joined him and his oldest brother in the U.S. They were among the first Ecuadorean immigrants to settle in Montauk. 

Mr. Tubatan died on Aug. 25 after falling into Montauk Harbor. His cause of death is still pending, though police have said foul play is not suspected. He was about a month shy of his 58th birthday.

His family — immediate and extended — was everything to him, his daughter, Mirna Tubatan, said. He was the caretaker and would do anything for them. A favorite uncle to many of his 89 nieces and nephews, he was remembered by them for how funny he was, always there with a joke or making a silly face. 

Since her father’s death, Ms. Tubatan said, she has received many calls and messages from friends who said how warm his smile was and how welcoming he always was. 

Her father had left school to come to America looking for a better life, and through his hard work he built a successful business, J.N.T. Masonry, laying brick, stone, and cement for 25 years. His son, Julio Fabian Tubatan, eventually worked alongside him. 

He was humble about his success, his daughter said. He instilled the importance of hard work in his children, but was also there to give them whatever they wanted, said Ms. Tubatan, a kindergarten teacher. He was a driving force in her decision to earn two master’s degrees, she said. 

He was also meticulous, in his work and in the way he lived his life, from his workout regimen to the way he cared for his vehicles. “Everybody here in Montauk knows my dad’s work truck — a big navy blue dump truck,” she said. He kept it “nice and shiny,” she said. He often told her about how he had a little wooden truck when he was growing up in Ecuador and used to dream of having a real one and a big garage full of cars. “That’s exactly what he made himself,” she said: A garage full of mint-condition vehicles. 

He kept everything neat and organized and disliked clutter. Ms. Tubatan laughed about how things would sometimes go missing from the house as part of his effort to tidy up. “Every month was a spring cleaning month for him.” 

He was born in Deleg, Ecuador, on Sept. 28, 1959, to Victor Tubatan and the former Maria Orfelina Molina. He was their third child. He grew up in Deleg and in La Troncal. After he returned from Montauk the first time, he married the former Elsa Fabiola Miranda on April 24, 1980. She also survives.

An early riser, he could often be seen walking his chocolate Lab in their neighborhood or cycling to favorite spots, like the Montauk Point Lighthouse. “He religiously went to Gurney’s every day,” his daughter said. “He liked to keep in shape. He ran, he swam, he loved to go into the steam room and the sauna.” 

In addition to his daughter, son, and wife, who live in Montauk, he is survived by his parents, Victor Tubatan and Maria Tubatan, and his eight siblings, all of whom live in East Hampton. They are: Alfredo Tubatan, Victor Tubatan, Romulo Tubatan, Luis Tubatan, Emma Tubatan, Olga Tubatan, Laura Tubatan, Esperanza Tubatan, and Martha Tubatan. 

Visiting hours will be today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton, followed by a funeral service at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church in Montauk, at 2 p.m. Burial will be at Fort Hill Cemetery in Montauk. 

An online fund has been set up to help the family offset funeral expenses. Donations can be made online at GoFundMe.com/Julio-Tubatan-memorial-fund or sent directly to the Tubatan family at P.O. Box 579, Montauk 11954.