Salvador "Rocky" Berlanga

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Salvador "Rocky" Berlanga, 87, entered into eternal rest on March 14, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents, Esteban and Severiana Berlanga, brothers, Joe, Abel, Gilbert and Sam, and son, Richard. Rocky enlisted in the US Navy at the young age of 16. He was just an 18 year-old sailor when the escort carrier he served on, the USS Gambier Bay, came under intense enemy fire during World War II. The ship was sunk on October 25, 1944 in the Battle of Samar. Rocky clung to his life and his shipmates for 72 hours in the harsh Philippine waters. He survived. During his service, Rocky was awarded several medals including the Purple Heart. Rocky returned to his hometown, San Antonio. There he met the love of his life, Lupe. They married on May 11, 1946, enjoyed 67 years of marriage and raised three children together. Rocky and Lupe travelled the country to attend the USS Gambier Bay Association Survivor Reunions. Rocky was an outdoorsman. He loved playing baseball, hunting and golfing. Despite the traumatic events he endured during WW II, he still loved being out on the water and deep-sea fishing. Rocky leaves behind his loving wife, Lupe, son, Rodger (Esther), daughter Debra (Harold), and sister Toni. He has seven grandchildren, Steven, Rodger, Noelle, Amanda, Travis, Ricky and Crystal, and three great-grandchildren. Visitation will be at The Angelus Funeral Home on 1119 N. St. Mary's St. on Wed., March 19th from 6 pm - 9 pm and a prayer service at 7 pm. Funeral service will be on Thurs., March 20th at 10 am, followed by interment at San Fernando Cemetery II. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Wounded Warriors Project, PO BOX 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. The family also expresses their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Mark Prange and his CLC staff at the VA Hospital. Salvador "Rocky" Berlanga is the epitome of courage, strength and perseverance. From his dedication to his country, family and friends, we learn that we can overcome any obstacle we face in life. He will be missed on this Earth, but his spirit, love and memory will live on in our hearts forever. Condolences may be sent to the Berlanga family at Arrangements by:

Funeral Home
San Antonio, TX 78215-1736
(210) 227-1461
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Published in Express-News on Mar. 18, 2014
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