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Resident of Saratoga
Frank Barrera departed this world on June 18, 2011. After miraculously surviving multiple illnesses over the last 20 years, Frank succumbed ultimately to congestive heart failure at 85 years of age. Born Francisco Barrera to Rafael and Refugio Barrera on August 16, 1925, Frank spent most of his childhood in Oakland. He served in the Merchant Marines during WWII and then was called into the Infantry in Korea. A fervent believer in education and hard work, Frank enrolled at UC Berkeley where he earned a BS and an MS in Mechanical Engineering receiving the benefits of the GI Bill. He spent his professional life at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley and at SLAC at Stanford.
Meanwhile, on a personal front, Frank was waiting for the perfect woman. When he found her, he knew right away and in 1965 he married Susan Knight. Two years later, their daughter Catherine was born. Three years after that, they were blessed with a son, David.
On a recreational level, Frank's passions were many: watching his kids play all kinds of sports, (even during his final days when he could barely see any more, he would still show up to "watch" his kids run road races); the SF Giants and the 49'ers (when this November 1st brought the Giants' World Series victory, Frank told his granddaughter it was "one of the best days of his life!"). Beyond sports, Frank loved the beach, his garden, The Golden Hour, a properly supervised BBQ, a vacation in Mexico, jazz music, crossword puzzles and last but not least, a well-deserved nap! All of these things Frank enjoyed with extraordinary gusto, contagious to those around him.
Pre-deceasing him are his angel mother, Cuca, and his beloved dog, Maggie. His survivors include: his wife, Sue, daughter, Catherine and her husband Steve Waters of Austin, TX, son, David of San Jose; two grandchildren, Elena and Alejandro Barrera-Waters of Austin; dog, Sandy and six grand-dogs.
Frank was an introvert by nature. And yet to those who knew him, he was the warmest, cuddliest old guy in the world, never shy to shed a tear of joy, or to reach out to you with a bear hug of emotion. He was a source of integrity and respect to all of us. He was a private man who taught us to love our family, to pursue our passions, and to never stop learning.
Vaya con Dios, FB.
A celebration of Frank's life will be held on Thursday, June 30th, at 11:00 am at The Alameda Family Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of the Valley, 4850 Union Avenue, San Jose, CA, 95124, or to your favorite charity.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on June 26, 2011