Hector V. Medina, 96, passed away peacefully in Pacific Grove, CA., on Sunday, October 27th, 2019. Hector was one of nine children born in Nogales, Mexico. The family immigrated to America in 1927 and settled in Calexico, CA. He got his first job in a grocery store at age 13. His young life revolved around hard work, family gatherings, and his Catholic faith. Not unlike his adult life…
He joined the U.S. Army to serve our country at the age of 19. It was the first time he had ever left home and the first time he flew in an airplane--headed for the Asian Pacific. After three years of service, Hector was the recipient of several honorary medals. He received an honorable medical discharge after contracting malaria in the line of duty.
He returned home one morning unexpectedly at 3 a.m…. a very sick man. He didn’t realize that his family home had moved. Calexico was a small town and everyone knew each other. The taxi driver told him where the family was living. Within days he was rushed to a military hospital by ambulance where he spent the next month being treated for malaria.
After the war, other than picking crops, there were no jobs. As soon as he was able, Hector wasted no time pounding the pavement. He and a friend bought a car and started a taxi service. That’s where Hector met a gentleman who worked for A&P Grocery Stores and offered him a job in produce. As fate would have it, Hector ended up working as Produce Manager for the next 35 years.
Shortly after his return from war and recovery from his illness, Hector met the love of his life…Maria Estela. They both lived in the Imperial Valley at the time. “Stella” would later become his wife of nearly 50 years.
They were the proud parents of four children. Years of hard work paid off when he was finally able to have a custom home built, much of it with his own hands. They later moved and raised their family in the Chula Vista area.
Retiring at age 55 afforded him more time for his favorite pastimes: being with family and cooking for them!
One of Hector’s many gifts was his hospitality. His eyes lit up when visitors arrived and welcomed them with opened arms. Anyone who sat at his table was treated like family. His heart-warming, healing albondigas soup and one-of-a-kind, shredded-beef-and-potato burritos were second to none.
Hector and Stella celebrated nearly fifty years of marriage prior to her untimely death seventeen years ago. For many years, they loved pulling up a seat at Casa De Pico and making new friends and merriment with the Mariachi’s.
His beloved wife passed away 17 years ago. Hector relocated to Pacific Grove, CA in 2009 to be near his two daughters and son. He lived life to the fullest. He was ready for whatever life presented him. Eventually, he faced many health challenges. Even when he was no longer ambulatory and increasingly required assistance with daily life, he never lost his smile. He never complained. He cherished every new day of life that God gave him. Through it all, his love of family remained his number one priority.
Hector was a loving husband, a caring father, and truly had a soft spot in his heart for each of his treasured grandchildren. He is survived by three children, a son-in-law and two daughter-in-laws, six grandchildren and their spouses, and two great-grandchildren. Hector’s youngest son passed away eleven years ago.
“Hector, Dad, Grandpa, Papadina, Poppi, Tata…we salute you. We’ll miss your radiant smile, your rugged hands clutching your rosary beads day and night, and your cheery disposition despite the obstacles. We’ll miss seeing you dressed in your Sunday best--creased shirts and slacks--as if every day was a holiday. Thank you for your unlimited sacrifices, your unwavering love, and your unshakable faith…all for the sake of your God, your family, and your country.”
HECTOR’S ROSARY will be held on Fri., Nov. 8th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 1668 State St., San Diego, CA. 92101.
A FUNERAL MASS will be celebrated by Father Alex De Paulis, on Sat., Nov. 9th at 12:45 p.m. at the Holy Cross Cemetery Chapel located at 4470 Hilltop Dr., San Diego, CA 92101.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in honor of Hector M. Medina to the Trinitarians of Mary (T.O.M), a local religious order that assists needy families in the greater Tecate-Tijuana area. Donations can be mailed to the T.O.M. Monastery located at 6702 Del Cerro Blvd., San Diego, CA 92120. Contact (619) 667-3942 for donations of food, clothing and supplies.
The family wishes to thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts for helping us to honor Hector in his living and his passing…
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