With profound sadness we announce the passing of Lorenzo Perez Gatica Sr., loving husband and devoted father and friend to all whose lives he touched. On August 3, 2020, He left this earthly place to a heavenly stay. This patriotic, loving, caring and wonderful man has left a permanent mark etched on our hearts and will be supremely missed by his wife and best friend of 43 years. Beloved husband of Olivia M. Gatica, Loving father of Lorenzo L. Gatica Jr., Angelica M. Gatica-Pacheco (Phil Pacheco), Melisa M. Gatica-Garza (Efren Garza), Roman G. Gatica (Lilliana Gatica), and Monica D. Gatica, to include 17 grandchildren and his siblings, Petra Cerda, Martina Perez (Albert), Eliouse Romo, Carolina Gatica, Martin P. Gatica Jr (Felipa) and Mario Gatica (Mary). He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin Bocanegra Gatica Sr. and Angelita Perez Gatica; and his siblings, Virginia Linares, Ignacio Gatica, Angelita Rodriguez (Tim), Pedro Gatica (Minnie) and Gloria Araiza.
God blessed him with a great life in which he embarked at his birth on 26 December 1951 to parents Angelita P. Gatica and Martin B. Gatica. He proudly served and sacrificed 20 years of service in the United States Air Force. He toured Guam, Thailand, Honduras, England, and Germany. Like any great story, love would come in the form of written letters to Olivia Godinez and in time lead to a beautiful marriage of one before the Lord and family and friends on September 4, 1976 at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Merced, CA. He then would get assigned to 6 locations throughout remaining years of service (1976- Utah Hill AFB, 1977-1979 New Mexico Almogordo AFB, 1980-1983 England Lakenheath AFB, 1983-1985 Arizona Luke AFB, 1986-1989 Florida Patrick Air Force Base ,1989-1992 Del Rio, Laughlin Air Force) and help bring forth 5 awesome children throughout these years. While stationed in Laken Heath, England Lorenzo and his wife would embrace their Latino roots and take part of the Amigos Unidos Club which consisted of a group of military families, themed focused on Mexican Heritage. Three years of cherished memories through a plethora of events from social gatherings to Christmas parties. This club would become a family, and throughout the years the bonds developed remained, as they would frequently keep in contact with each other. Lorenzo retired on April 30, 1992 passing the torch to those who would carry on the Aim High spirit of the Air Force. Upon retirement, he than pursued being a substitute teacher for 10 yrs giving back to the communities of Edgewood Independent School District, where he grew up in the barrio. During this tenure as a substitute teacher, he was highly respected and gained lifelong friendships from the teachers, faculty, and even students as years passed. His children even experienced their dad as a substitute teacher through their high school years and can assure you they were well behaved. He stressed education always to his children, demanded nothing less than commitment to excellence and lead by example by earning an Associate degree in Political Science in 2003. They would often refer to him as the great Historian of the family. He loved looking into his family roots, his past ancestors, and just the love for history in general. He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important and understood the importance and the simplicity of living a life with those whom you love. A man of his word, a man devoted to his love for God, family, and country. A firm grip of hand, a warm heart of love, and a will full of content. Although he enjoyed the bailes and rhythm of music in which he would dance the night away with his love of his life, he would trade it all for a night in front of the house garage with his family listening to the music he recorded on his favorite cassette player. Lorenzo enjoyed a variety of music, bands and artists and was loved and respected by all when he would attend events. He loved his sports and was a huge Die Hard San Antonio Spurs and Die Hard Dallas Cowboys fan!!! He loved watching and rooting for his teams and had collected many memorabilia throughout the years to include all the championship years. Of his many consejos (advice) and quotes, one quote that resonates with his family is his famous quote "I may not always be right, but I am never wrong." His life was a living example of two bible verses Proverbs 19:1- "Blessed is a poor person who walks in integrity then one who is crooked in speech and is a fool"; 2 Corinthians 8:21- "For we aim high at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man". And aim high he did. His word was what he lived by. Most of all he loved his family and instilled in his children strong values that have served them well. He will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts. Of all the people he touched, both willing and unwilling, his most proud achievement in life was marrying his wife Olivia Margaret Gatica who supported him in all his glory during his heyday, and lovingly supported him until his last breath here on earth. No better way to conclude this Obituary then to use some Air Force Terms Jefe Lorenzo P. Gatica. Aim high as you head to the pearly gates to the Uno Ab Alto (One Over All). HUA! Heard, Understood, or acknowledged.
A celebration of Lorenzo's life will be held at Funeraria del Angel Trevino – 226 Cupples Rd. 78237, Service Date: Monday, August 24. Family will arrive at 4:00 PM, Public to Arrive: 5:00 PM. Rosary Service will be at 7:00 PM and visitation will conclude at 9:00 PM. PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID protocol ONLY 50 PERSONS ARE ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING AT A TIME.
Lorenzo Gatica Funeral service will commence on Tuesday, 25 August 2020 with location at St. Helena Catholic Church (14714 Edgemont St. 78247). Service to Begin at 11:30 AM – and conclude at 12"30 AM. The committal service will take place at Ft. Sam Houston Nat'l. Cemetery (1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd. 78209) at 1:15 PM, Shelter #2.