Obituary of Jose Mercedes Gonzalez
Jose Mercedes Gonzalez
It is with great sadness that we announce that José Mercedes González, 78, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on February 17, 2022. He was born on September 24, 1943 to Pedro and Maria González in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico. His family moved to Brooklyn, New York where he spent the rest of his childhood. Jose, also known as Joe, Pepin, or El Jefe, was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He is survived by his beloved bride of 58 years, JoAnn/Jodi; son Joe(y) Gonzalez; daughters Sherry (David) Nilemo, Suzanne/Suzie (Kirk) Woodburn, and Danielle (Peter) Brehm. He had 11 grandkids, 5 brothers, and the only dog he ever loved, Radar.
Graduating from Boys High School, Joe later joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he met Jodi. They say opposites attract, and boy, were they opposites—he was a fast talking, smooth New Yorker, and she was a sweet, rule following small town girl. They were married at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He used his GI Bill to continue his education throughout his career, and he was very proud of his time in the service. He was honorably discharged, and they eventually moved back to Brooklyn with two small kids. They lived there for three years before relocating to Colorado, where he spent the rest of his life.
Joe worked his way up the ladder at AT&T, starting as a technician and eventually rising to become the Director of International Operations. During this time, he traveled extensively around the world, and had many colorful stories about his experiences abroad. He retired after a 33 year career, and launched his own business as a Spanish language interpreter, working for many public school districts, doctors’ offices, attorneys, and court hearings. Together with former AT&T colleagues, they created the ROMEO group: Retired Old Men Eating Out. Throughout the years, these lifelong friends shared many treasured memories.
Joe was often the life of the party. A man of many words and stories, some factual and others not so factual, he loved to reminisce about years gone by. He loved his heritage and anything Puerto Rican, nice cars, baseball, sunsets, and playing practical jokes. A total jokester, he especially loved telling inappropriate and political jokes. Above all, he loved his family dearly and many of his stories were about his kids and grandkids, whom he cherished deeply. He prioritized giving them opportunities to have new experiences—taking them on vacations, to Rockies games, to the mountains to sled and tube, to his favorite restaurants, and so much more. His family was his pride and joy. A self-proclaimed DIYer, he could often be found at his kids’ houses fixing or building things for them. His kids have many memories holding the light or passing him tools as he fixed things, often into the wee hours of the night. His biggest priority in life was to make sure his family was provided for, a goal he clearly accomplished.
Joe fought a long and hard 25-year battle with prostate cancer and in the last few weeks struggled with COVID. Even at the end, he wanted things done his way. He wished for a million dollars, but Joe was lucky enough to have so much more: countless family and friends, near and far, who loved him dearly. With deep sorrow, our family mourns the loss and his bigger than life personality. He led a good life, and we know we will reunite with him in Heaven one day.
All are welcome to join us as we celebrate his life.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
St. Augustine Catholic Church
178 S 6th Ave, Brighton, CO 80601
10:30 am — Rosary
11:00 am — Funeral Mass
12:00 pm — Luncheon/ Sharing Memories
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Ft. Logan National Cemetery
3698 Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO 80235
Staging Area C
9:15-9:35 am — Interment with Military Honors
DIRECTIONS TO FT. LOGAN:
Please arrive by 9 am. Timing will be prompt, so please be on time for the short ceremony.
Use this address when mapping directions: 3698 S. Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO 80235.
- When you turn into the cemetery from Sheridan Blvd., you’ll see a green and white sign in the median at the turn to the entrance saying: Sheridan Small North Gate. This is the northernmost gate, not the main gate.
- Proceed into the entrance and look for the sign that says: Reserved for Family Cars Area C.
- Pull your vehicle in line by the sign above (staging area C) and wait in your car there. Park at the curb facing the direction of the pointer in a caravan line.
- There will be a vehicle procession to the service location, led by Joey, Mom, and Dad’s remains in the Z—his last ride in his car.