Jose D. Gonzales
April 25, 1943 - June 10, 2018
Son of J. Diego Gonzales and Nicholasa DeLeon
We met nine years ago in March of 2009. When we moved in next door I didn't know much about him other than he was a nice man. My fault, I was respectful of him and did not pry into his personal life when we would talk. He is survived by a brother but we never knew his name other than Gonzales.
As I look around trying to find clues of who he was...he loved his 56 Ford, his motorcycles, he kept himself busy refurbishing cars and bikes...his Garage was everything to him, his hobbies and tools everything was in there to keep himself busy with his little helper's (my girls).
Jose (Joe, JD) Gonzales or Papa Joe the name he gave the neighborhood kids to call him. Juliana my three year old shocked me because she would climb over his fence. She would wander into his kitchen and startle him. I would wonder "where's my little girl?", then I'd look over and there he was sitting on a crate, telling her to pick up rocks and sticks so they wouldn't hit the lawnmower blades. He would see me and say "I got her, I'm keeping her busy"....I loved it. He gave me a sense of safety. I knew she was safe with him and he often kept her busy sorting nuts, bolts, screws, nails and anything he could find. As Juliana got older she and Ariana started to come around after school. He kept both of them busy. Ariana kept him busy with helping her study her lines for her plays. I never told him, but I felt fortunate to have him next door...I, however, did thank him every chance I got. I was grateful for his presence in our lives. I think he was happy to be here for them too. I'm sure of it. He would smile when he talked about them. Everyone he touched in our neighborhood is missing him. We all knew "There goes Joe in his 56 Ford"
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