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Guillermo S. Maldonado


1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Guillermo S. Maldonado Obituary
Oct. 31, 1931 - Nov. 23, 2018 Guillermo "Bill" Maldonado passed away on November 23, 2018 at the age of 87. He was born in Los Angeles in 1931. Attended Loyola High School and Loyola University, Los Angeles. He was a Jesuit novice and then was drafted during the Korean War and was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. After honorably discharged in 1957, he returned to California. Bill Maldonado was first and foremost, a talented and passionate musician. To those of us who knew him well, he was truly a renaissance man. Multi-lingual, well read, lover of beauty and supporter of those he found talented. His early years were spent in Mission San Juan Capistrano where his gifts of art and painting were put to use beautifying the mission's Serra Chapel as well as serving as the chapel's organist. His masterpiece was the replica of the 12th station of the Cross monumental Francisco Zervas' painting of the Crucifixion, commissioned by Monsignor Vincent Lloyd-Russell. The original was restored in 2013 with Bill in attendance at the unveiling and now hangs in Serra Chapel, while his replica is safely stored. Bill maintained a solid reputation as a musician and singer. For years finding where he was performing promised terrific entertainment. His piano playing, and his wonderful singing drew such a fan base. He was always fresh and creative. Other performers during that period did their best to copy him but there was only one Bill. For a while he raised Schnauzer dogs. It was around that time that while putting a new roof on his house, he fell from the ladder and consequently spent a couple years in a wheelchair. Ah, but that didn't slow him down at all simply rolled that chair up to the piano and the show continued! Of course, opening and developing Maldonado's in 1974 was his tour de force. Maldonado's became stuff of legend and a place to be. For more than twenty years he maintained the quality and uniqueness to establish a 4 star-Circle of Fame Award Restaurant. Reservations had to be made weeks in advance for the 2 seating per night. Hand picking performers that covered the musical spectrum from jazz to opera. His kitchen requirements were no less demanding. Bill was a gourmet cook himself and it just was not in his design to cut any corners in either the kitchen or on the stage. In his busy life, he also was a member of the Board of Directors of Pasadena Center Operating Company (Pasadena Civic Auditorium) from 1993 to 1999. Bill Maldonado became a well-deserved legend in Pasadena. Those of us who loved him will carry his "sous de vie" within our hearts forever. For those who only experienced his performances and those of his "coyotes" there will always be a bit of Maldonado out there in the universe. What a precious soul! Bill will be lovingly missed by his partner, Charles. His funeral mass will be held at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Pasadena, on Friday, December 14th, 2018 at 10 A.M. Please sign the guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/pasadenastarnews.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Dec. 13, 2018
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