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Iluminado Diaz, Christian radio broadcaster ; Aug. 13, 1952 -- April 2, 2012

Iluminado "Lumi" Diaz, of Buffalo, a Christian radio broadcaster and missionary, died Monday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 59.

Born in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, he attended high school in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He came to Buffalo in 1979 and did missionary work and evangelism. He made missionary trips to Santo Domingo, the Virgin Islands and Mexico.

He joined in bringing Hispanic Christian radio programming from Puerto Rico to Buffalo on WHLD 1270 AM in 1994. In 2000, he inaugurated Radio Luz "La Frecuencia de la Uncion," which is heard weekly on WJJL 1440 AM, incorporating programs from his hometown in Puerto Rico and from Orlando, Fla.

Mr. Diaz was beloved by young listeners for his program, "Los Soldaditos de Cristo" (Christ Soldiers), in which he told fables with a Christian message.

He was a member of Calvary Assembly of God Church in the Town of Tonawanda, where he played bass guitar in the church musical group and was a board member of the Association of Hispanic Pastors of Western New York.

"Lumi and I communicated pretty well, considering his English and my Spanish were pretty poor," said Earl Morgan, general manager of WJJL. "I believe the good Lord had a wonderful messenger in this man of exceptional quality and goodness. His faith in the Lord was unwavering and his smile infectious."

Surviving are his wife, Teresa Pelayo Brambilla; four brothers, Luis, Isidro, Gregorio and Abraham; and two sisters, Esther and Marcolina.

Services will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Assembly of Christian Churches, 97 Ridge Road, Lackawanna.

[ANDERSON]