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Rafael Rico Gonzalez

  • "My sincere sympathy to the family for the loss of your dear..."
  • "We were so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. He was such a..."
    - George & Linda Carrillo
  • "Joe and I are so blessed to have known Ralph and to be..."
    - Joe and Evelyn Urrea
  • "Patricia, Julie, & all of the Gonzalez familia, my thoughts..."
    - Charlotte Lucero
  • "Nuestras muy sinceras condolencias a toda la familia por la..."
    - Rodolfo & Esperanza Bejarano

Rafael Rico Gonzalez 7/18/1928 - 3/11/2014 Rafael R. Gonzalez a native Tucsonan passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family Tuesday, March 11th, he was 85. Preceded in death by parents, Rafael and Rosa Gonzalez; sister, Mary Gabusi and grandchildren, Jose Otero and Elisa Gastellum. Survived by wife of 60 years, Mary B. Gonzalez; daughters, Theresa (Bobby) Gastellum, Debbie (Joe) Otero, Julie (Tony) Gallego and Patricia (Adam) Silva. He leaves behind 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Survived by sisters, Sara Espinoza, Marta Gonzalez and Ofelia Foley; brother, Gus Rico and many nieces, nephews, cousins, Godchildren and extended family members. In 1947, Rafael graduated from the Carmelite Seminary in Ponca City, OK. He began his 20 year career with the US Air Force in 1948. In 1950, he met Mary. They wed in 1953 and started their family. Rafael was stationed in Morocco, Kansas, Texas, Spain and England where lasting memories were made. After his USAF retirement, Rafael, and his family returned to Tucson. He began his 2nd career with the Asarco Mission Mine in 1969, and retired in 1989, and was a member of the USWA union. Rafael was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus - San Lucas Tristany, and was awarded the Grand Knight of the Year for the state of Arizona in 1982. His love of learning led him to earn an Associate Degree at PCC and then attended the U of A. He was an excellent writer and researcher. His greatest work was on the history of Latin music in Tucson and its many talented musicians. His research and writings were used as narrations for the local "Viva Arizona Show". The audience felt the essence of living in the Old Pueblo from the early years to present through music. Rafael was considered a "Tucson Historian" by many. We are thankful to Dr. Krouse and the Oncology team at the VA hospital for their compassion and support. Viewing will be held from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., Sunday, March 16, 2014 CARRILLO'S TUCSON MORTUARY, 204 S. Stone Ave with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. A Mass in celebration of his life will be held on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Margaret Mary Parish, 801 N. Grande Ave. Interment at Holy Hope Catholic Cemetery, 3555 N. Oracle Rd. Friends and family may express condolences at

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Mar. 14, 2014