Rafael Garcia Gutierrez, age 41, of Oxnard, Calif., passed away February 20, 2013. Rafael was born on December 14, 1971, in La Yerbabuena, Michoacan, Mexico, to the union of Igancio Gutierrez and Amelia Garcia Gutierrez. He was a resident of Ventura County for over 32 years.
Very rarely in life do you come across someone with the natural ability to touch everyone they encountered; our beloved Rafael Gutierrez was that person. He grew up amongst five brothers and sisters in the humble pueblo of La Yerbabuena, Michoacan, Mexico. Following the promise of a better life, his family immigrated to another small town; Southern California's Santa Paula. This new home would serve as the backdrop to his adolescent years. In which he dabbled in athletics and cemented bonds and memories that would last a lifetime, but most importantly, it was in these times when he met, and subsequently fell in love with the incomparable, Ruby Soltero. After a couple years of adventures, tests and trials, they decided the fire of their love was too great to extinguish; they were engaged to be married.
Before he was old enough to drink his first beer (although many can attest that never stopped him) the pair was blessed with their first child who would adopt not only Rafa's name, but his likeness as well. Four children followed; along with Rafael Jr, Byanka, Erik, Jennifer, and little Miranda all shared the pleasure of having a father that put them first no matter the circumstance. The following two decades he experienced his true life unfold and witnessed his family getting bigger with admiration and astonishment. One by one, new people came into his life whether by marriage, by birth, or by chance, and like the sun that shines above us, he did not hesitate to share the warmth that was his love. With the sense of humor of a comedian, the wisdom of a philosopher, and the freedom of a stallion, this was a man who truly loved life and it loved him back.
The last few years of his life he stumbled onto a love that was second only to that of his family's and thus, one of the great Mexican bands of our time was born. 'La Incontenible Banda El Patron'; later to be renamed 'La Incontenible Banda El Patron de Rafael Gutierrez' in his honor. Aside from being the founder and promoter he also worked tirelessly teaching himself to play the trumpet, a humble but essential part of the band's sound. The group performed in countless venues and cities throughout and beyond the 805 area; however, no matter where they went, it was el primo Rafa (as he was affectionately called) who wore the biggest smile and laughed the heartiest.
He was a great man, a gem, a source of light in this world where there is an abundance of darkness. During the summer of 2011, his first grandchild came into this world, his second is due to be born in the summer of 2013. Unfortunately our dear friend will never get to hold his first daughter's child, for his life was tragically cut short after a terrible vehicle collision; he was only 41 years old. But rejoice, for his memory remains etched in the hearts of those he left behind: children, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends; his image is forever tattooed on our souls. For the youngest among us, his teachings will never cease to guide us; his love will accompany us through all endeavors of life, today, tomorrow, and every day after. Thank you so much for everything, we miss you, and we love you. "ARRIBA EL COMPA RAFA, CASI NADIE PARIENTE!"
Rafael is survived by his loving wife, Ruby S. Gutierrez; children: Rafael A. Gutierrez, Byanka G. Gutierrez, Erik E. Gutierrez, Jennifer M. Gutierrez and Miranda M. Gutierrez; one grandchild; parents, Ignacio and Amelia Gutierrez; siblings: Lorena Gutierrez, Ignacio Gutierrez, Oscar Gutierrez and Gerardo Gutierrez; paternal grandfather, Pedro Gutierrez; and maternal grandparents, Jesus and Tranquelina Garcia.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a rosary to be recited at 7 p.m. at the Garcia Mortuary Chapel in Oxnard. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 28, 2013, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Oxnard. Interment to follow at Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard.
For map and directions to ceremony location, and to sign the family's online guest book, share stories, post pictures please visit www.garciamortuaryoxnard.com
and click on Rafael's name located below "Obituaries".
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the family owned and operated Garcia Mortuary 629 South "A" Street. Oxnard, Calif. For further information please call 486-9148.
Published by Ventura County Star from Feb. 26 to Mar. 1, 2013.