Julio Cesar Pomar, 71, of Gainesville, Fla., passed away peacefully Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, with family at his side. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother, and friend to many.
Julio was born in Havana in 1951. In 1962, he and his sister, Maria Elena Pomar Lloyd, were among 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children with special visas who were sent on flights to the United States by their parents during Operation Peter Pan. The covert program, run by the Catholic church during the height of the Cold War, was designed to protect Cuban children whose parents feared Fidel Castro’s communist regime. Julio and his sister first lived in a Florida City, Fla., camp for Cuban children, then in other South Florida area homes until their parents were able to join them in Miami 6-1/2 years later.
In the early 1970s, Julio moved to Gainesville, where he ran his own landscape business and studied at Santa Fe College. He worked for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Gainesville Police Department in 1980 as an officer; later advancing to corporal and acting sergeant. He also worked with the department’s DEA Task Force before retiring after 30 years of service. “He was very dependable, physically strong, conscientious and caring – the kind of guy you wanted on a call with you,” says colleague Erin Desmond, who began working with Julio in 1987. “And he always had a smile on his face.”
Julio loved nature and was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed hunting deer, turkey, and wild hogs, and he taught his sons how to hunt. He was a diver, and won prizes in high school as a track and field sprinter. His sister, Maria Elena, says friends “used to call him Speedy Gonzales” after the Looney Tunes cartoon character.
He was a great cook, as well. His children recall pig roasts and the venison bounty he’d bring home from a hunt, and they loved the Cuban sandwiches with beans and rice and the Cuban dish picadillo he cooked for them. Julio was a doting father with a lively sense of humor. He loved attending his children’s extra-curricular events. He also devoted time to lifting weights, swimming, and staying in top physical shape.
The love of Julio’s life was wife Carla Hotvedt, a former Gainesville Sun photojournalist, who died in January 2017. Julio retired from law enforcement to be her caregiver when she became very ill with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Along with sister Maria Elena, who lives in Spain, Julio leaves behind children Monica Marie Pomar, 42; Alexander Mario Pomar, 33; Jacob Samuel Pomar, 30.
In addition to Carla—whom he lovingly called Carlita–Julio was preceded in death by his mother, Maria Pomar-Alvarez; father, Julio Cesar Pomar; and siblings Mario Romero Alvarez and Fernando Romero Alvarez.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to www.psp.org, the organization devoted to finding a cure for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
A celebration of Julio’s life and luncheon for family and friends will be held from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge at 3301 North Main Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32609.
I’ve known Julio since I began working for the Sheriff’s Office in 1980. Later when Julio worked for GPD he would always back me on calls near the city. Yet later we worked cases together when I was with ATF and Julio was with the DEA TF. Like my brother Erin said, you never would see Julio without a smile on his face and could depend on him to be there when the going got tough. Rest Easy Brother in Blue. I’ll see you on the other side. 💙
One of the finest man l have ever known. Worked with Julio in Gainesville from late 80s till 1997. An honest and brave man to have in your group. Also a wounderful family man and all round great guy. They don’t make them like Julio anymore….you will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in Peace Brother in Blue
Julio was such a joy to work with at GPD. Very professional but always had a smile and would share a laugh. Gone too soon. Sincerest condolences to Julio’s family.
Julio and his older sister were at the camp for Cuban refugee inu
at the same time my younger brother and I were there.
He was 10, my brother 11, Maria Elena and I were 16 and 17 at that time.
We remained friends through the years.
Julito -as we called him- moved from Miami to Gainesville as a teenager because my parents were there. And he also made Gainesville his home. His mother joined him later.
My heart is heavy with sorrow for the loss of Julio. I was still mourning Carla’s death when I received the news of his passing.
I regret that I did not get to give him one more hug since Carla’s memorial gathering, and that I cannot be there this time with his children and friends.
Every good thing said about Julio Pomar here is true. He made the best of his life on Earth an gave the best of him to those fortunate enough to enter his circle.
Monica, Alex and Jake, my heart is with you. Please know that you will always have a friend in me. May you have comfort in knowing how loved and admired your father was in his community.
My deepest condolences.
Carla was a very dear friend and colleague, and I was thrilled to be there when she married her sweet Julio. He was the best husband to Carla, father to his daughter and sons, and friend to us, and he almost always had that big smile on his face. We had a lot of laughs together over the years, and Carla, Julio and toddler Alex were with us in Orlando when I married my husband, Walter Benjamin, in 1990. Somehow Alex came to call Walter a “silly edging guy” — well, he was silly, and Alex saw him edging our lawn; thus, the moniker that made us chuckle. When Jake was young, he became friends with our two sons–they loved to play video games.
I remember Julio’s great cooking, his passion for hunting, and his many handyman skills. He adored Carla, and I loved the way he expressed his concern for her, especially after she became ill. He took such good care of Carla as her health declined, and he sent her off bravely in 2017 when she passed.
Monica, Alex and Jake, I wish your wonderful dad had had more time with you on this planet. May he rest in peace. Please know that we are here for you and wishing you all well as you pursue your own passions and dreams knowing how much your dad loved you and wanted only the best for you.
With much love and heartfelt condolences, Jennie, Walter, Nathan and Sam
Julio and I were friends in the 70’s. Manny, Carlos, Julio, and I always out snorkeling and hunting together. He was in my wedding. Always such a positive spirit. My mother really adored Julio. I joined the navy and moved away. We had recently caught up after many years. It was like no time had passed. I was trying to catch up again but I guess that’s not going to happen.. I miss his laugh.