CHICAGO, IL. -
Baldomero Gonzales Jr., 83, of Chicago, Illinois passed away peacefully on July 20, 2014, at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. He was the eldest of three siblings of the late Baldomero Gonzalez Sr. and Juanita Valenzuela of La Feria, Texas.
Mr. Gonzales is survived by his beloved wife Calixta Mary (nee Villarreal) with whom he shared almost 60 years of marriage; his devoted sons Marcos Gonzales and Raul (Leticia) Gonzales; his sisters Nympha (Noe) De La Fuente and Virginia (Wallace) McMillian. He is further survived by many nieces and nephews.
Baldomero was born in La Feria, Texas. At age 17, Baldomero enlisted in the U.S. Army while a student at La Feria High School in 1948. After basic training, he was sent to Guam, where he served for 14 months. He then served in the occupation of Japan until he was sent to Korea in 1951 during the Korean War. Mr. Gonzales' bravery earned several medals, including the Purple Heart, with clusters, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, two battle stars, one Spearhead Medal, the Korean campaign medal and the Japan occupation medal. His citations tell of specific instances of gallantry in action in volunteering for spearhead and advance patrol duty, and for bravery in holding an advance position under heavy enemy fire.
His combat injuries brought him to Edwards Hines VA Hospital in Maywood, Illinois to recuperate. Soon, he crossed paths with Calixta Mary Villarreal, fell in love, married, and made Chicago their home where they raised their two sons and where he lived the remainder of his life.
As a military veteran, he found time to volunteer at the local VFW spending time with fellow veteran friends and assisting in numerous social events held at the VFW hall. "Baldo," as he was fondly called, will be remembered by many as not only a kind and generous man, but as a man with talent of putting someone at ease with his gift of having a unique sense of humor. Let us not forget his passion for having a favorite sport to watch on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays-football.
His working career took him to Kentile, St. Regis Paper, and Nalco Chemical from which he retired in 1996. Please join us in saying farewell to Baldomero Gonzales, a delightful individual, that many had a pleasure of knowing. Family and friends will miss him deeply, but will cherish countless memories.
Published in Valley Morning Star on Aug. 3, 2014