Joe Soltero April 26, 1927 - January 26, 2013 Our beloved Father, Joe Soltero, passed peacefully in his sleep at his home on January 26, 2013. Joe was born in El Paso, Texas, on April 26, 1927 during the height of the Great Depression. Joe and his family initially settled in Brawley, California, then on to Delano where he made his permanent home in the early 1940s. Summoned to serve his country, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1945. He served in Belgium, England and Germany, where he immersed himself in the cultures, leaving him with an array of wonderful memories of the people who treated him so warmly. Upon his return from his military service, Joe married his sweetheart, Mary Villa of Tulare, who waited for his return in 1948. Joe began his 35-year career working for the Delano Cooperative Winery and retired in 1991. Joe was a loving man who was loyal not only to his family and friends but also to his career. He was very passionate in every aspect of his life and did it "His Way and never in a shy way". He loved to laugh, dance and knew no stranger. Joe was very thankful for his blessings and was a patron of the Virgen de Guadalupe. A lifelong, passionate baseball fan, Joe coached men's and women's softball teams during the 1950s, playing all over the valley. Beginning in 1963, Joe embarked on a 37-year coaching career as a Little League coach, gaining local fame as "LACA Joe" due to the sponsorship of Delano's Latin American Citizens Association. He garnered 12 championships, instilling a spirit of teamwork, dedication, loyalty and discipline among generations of Delano's youth. He instilled in his players the importance of good citizenship and giving back to the community. Joe touched the lives of many people in the community due to his unflagging commitment to the youth of Delano. He never hesitated to offer counseling to his players; in fact, he was known to buy baseball equipment for any of his players who were economically challenged and offered transportation to those who didn't have a ride. His legacy lives on in the lives of his former players and through his family. Joe was preceded by his beloved wife Mary, who passed away shortly before him in October, 2012 and his Mother, Enriqueta Robles. Survivors include his son Karl Soltero; daughters Madeline Parra and husband Michael Parra, Jill Soltero and husband Ernest Ruiz, Jr.; granddaughter Laura Parra Rocha and husband MSG Juan Rocha; grandson Paul Joseph Parra; granddaughter Natalie Ruiz; and his great-grandchildren, Michael and Jonathan Rocha. Services on Feb. 4, 2013: Public viewing from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Delano Mortuary; Rosary & Mass at 1:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Delano; interment will follow at North Kern Cemetery District. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in his memory to Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1015 Clinton Street, Delano, CA 93215. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN www.bakerfield.com/obits
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Published in Bakersfield Californian from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3, 2013