Dec. 7, 1948 - Aug. 26, 2014
Gilbert Victor Espinoza lost a long battle with cancer on Aug. 26.
Gil was born on Dec. 7, 1948 to Guadalupe (Lupe) and Jesus Jess Espinoza of Stockton. He attended St. Mary's High in Stockton and Delta and Solano Colleges.
Serving in the Air Force from 1969 to 1973, Gil was stationed at Travis AFB and overseas in Thailand and Vietnam. Gil was in a K-9 security force unit with his dog Smokey. After returning home, he began a lifelong career at Union 76/Conoco Phillips refinery in Rodeo.
In 1980, Gil met Colleen Collery, the love of his life. He married his soul mate and best friend Colleen in 1984. Gil and Colleen raised son, Christopher and daughters, Rachel and Maria. He also considered his children's friends as his "adopted sons and daughters", treating them as family members. In addition to his wife and children, Gil is survived by granddaughters, Malia, Lehuanani and Kiana. His siblings, Jess (Norma), Michael (Caroline), Loretta (James), as well as many cousins, aunts and uncles who will miss Gil. Gil enjoyed his Collery in-laws, John (Lolly Maria), Bridget (Don), Mary (Eric), Ellen (Dragon) and Lilly (Dale).
Gil made lifelong friends wherever he went-- whether camping at Canyon Creek with his cousins, Richard and Esther, attending church with other parishioners at St. Mary's in Vacaville, playing golf, fishing or working out with his refinery buddies, or running a marathon. Gil never judged a book by its cover and befriended many neighbors, co-workers and people that he met, most of which he regarded as adopted family.
One of the highlights of Gil's life was travel. He delighted in trips to Mexico, the Caribbean and especially The Republic of Ireland. Cousins Gerry and Ann Collery introduced Gil to the joys of the ould sod.
A funeral service will take place on Friday, Sept. 5, at St Mary's Church in Vacaville at 11 a.m., followed by interment at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon at 2:30 p.m. There will also be a reception at the Hampton Inn and Suites, Vacaville from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to male breast cancer research in Gil's honor: Metastatic Breast Cancer Network at HTTP://www.mbcn.org.
Arrangements entrusted to McCune Garden Funeral Home, 707-448-6546.
McCune Garden Chapel Funeral Home
212 Main Street Vacaville, CA 95688
Published in The Reporter on Aug. 31, 2014