Manuel “Manuelito” Gonzalez, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, compadre, and friend passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on August 4, 2020 at the age of 87. Manuel was born in the small mining town of Mapimi, Durango, Mexico. At the age of 15, he left for border town of Tijuana in order to pave the way for the rest of his family to move North. There he met the love of his life Elvia Moreno and were married in 1957. He built their home in the Colonia Libertad neighborhood of Tijuana. There they began to raise their seven children. In the same neighborhood he helped fundraise to build a church (Divina Providencia) and worked as handyman for the neighborhood Catholic school. He proudly worked as an electrician for 15 years at the Comision Federal de Electricidad.
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In 1975, seeking a better life for his family, he immigrated to the United States and established a home in San Diego, CA. At first, he worked a variety of jobs until he earned a position in the aeronautics industry which allowed him to make the United States his permanent home. In the 29 years that he worked at EG & G KT Aerofab in El Cajon, a man with only a sixth-grade education rose to be plant leadman overseeing the factory floor. His coworkers were very fond of him and he forged lifelong friendships with many of them. Manuel was a proud union man and believed in the solidarity and benefits that a union job provided. In addition, he was an all-around craftsman who would help any friend in need and would take side projects to supplement his income in order to support his wife and seven children.
A man of unyielding faith, he was a devoted parishioner at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church. He was a founding member of the Hispanic Community and served as vice president. “Manuelito” was loved and respected by his fellow parishioners. Seen as a role model, he was a godfather to many who received the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation through RICA program. He was a helping hand to countless other parish causes like manning the Hispanic Community’s Mexican food stand at the annual Fall Festival. His acting in Good Friday’s Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) is legendary. A firm believer in Catholic education, he was committed to providing one for all of his children. After his retirement from aeronautics, he continued to work. He worked at the parish school as a handyman and then at Aztec Landscaping for his dear friends, The Aguilar family.
In 63 years of marriage, he tirelessly worked to make Elvia’s house a home. In the countless home improvement projects, he never hired someone else to do them. As he worked on these projects, often with his wife alongside him, he was sure to asked for her approval. With each new idea Manuelito would tell Elvia, “You tell me what you want, I will make it.” As his children started their own families, he continued to look after each of them and offered support in any way he could. The love and sacrifice for his wife and children knew no bounds.
“Fito” as he was affectionately called by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren was loving funny, mischievous, charitable, compassionate, and a man of strong convictions. He was honest and he was never shy about letting people know his opinions. Always up for heated debate, he consistently spoke and worked for those who were less fortunate. While he often commanded attention, he never thought the world revolved around him and simply wanted to make it a better place for his family and others. Smiling and laughing till the very end, he provided joy to all those who knew him. He will be missed by all.
He now joins his parents Manuel and Piedad, his two brothers Ricardo and Juan, his two sisters Maria Luisa and Maria Elena, and his oldest son Jorge who passed away on August 9, 2017, in eternal repose.
He is survived by his wife Elvia, daughters Patricia, Rocio, Monica, Carmen, Liz, his son Aaron, his niece Felicitas, his 19 grandchildren: Jorge, Carlos, Aubrey, Vanessa, Derek, Amanda, Cody, Yesenia, Samantha, Andreas, Giovanna, Ellis, Alexandra, Sarah, Alexa, Isela, Diego Manuel, Nathan, and Mia; his 8 great-grandchildren Beila, Nathaniel, Tyler, Logan, Micah, Lucas, Quinn, and Frida.
Viewing and last respects will be held from 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Monday, August 10, 2020 at Community Mortuary in Chula Vista, CA. A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church at 10 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a chartable contribution to St. John of the Cross Catholic School, 8175 Lemon Grove Way, Lemon Grove, CA 91945. Funds will be set aside to support families in need to make a Catholic Education possible for their children.