Antonio N. Gonzalez, 90, husband of Juanita Gonzalez and born June 13, 1915, passed away at his daughter's home Sunday, March 26, 2006, surrounded by his family.
Originally from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, where as a young man, he was an amateur boxer and a pitcher with the Mexican baseball league, Mr. Gonzalez, immigrated with his wife to Texas in 1940. In 1960, he moved his family to Washington, where he eventually obtained his American citizenship.
A talented musician, song writer, dancer, and spoken word artist, Mr. Gonzalez, was a prolific guitar player and excelled in various other instruments as well. Though he authored several poems and songs, Mr. Gonzalez never sought to have any of his works published, choosing instead to donate them as gifts to his spouse, children, and friends. He raised his children with an appreciation for dance and music with several of his sons inheriting his talent for guitar playing. He leaves behind memories of teaching his children how to dance and sing.
Mr. Gonzalez was a member of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grandview, where he was a member of the choir and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside. Prior to that, Mr. Gonzalez was a choir member of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Granger, for 15 years, along with his wife, and son, Daniel, who accompanied on guitar.
He enjoyed organic gardening, making his legendary sauces and salsa with homegrown ingredients and spices. He also made his famous beef jerky using recipes brought back from his youth in Mexico and taught to him by his relatives. In addition to his gardening and cooking hobbies, Mr. Gonzalez was an avid Seattle Mariner fan and fishing aficionado. He enjoyed exchanging fishing and baseball stories as well as political dissertations with his favorite son-in-law and fishing buddy, Roberto DeAnda.
During his final days, he played his instruments, told jokes, danced in his wheel chair, and encouraged his children to dance and sing for and with him.
A scrupulously honest and hard working father, Mr. Gonzalez is survived and missed by his wife, Juanita Gonzalez; his daughters, Antonia, Juana, Emma, Connie, Julia, Beatrice, Irma and Sylvia; his sons, Antonio Jr., Ramiro, Ruben, Daniel, Rudy, and Mario. He was grandfather to 16 children; four step-grandchildren; plus numerous nieces and nephews; and had many, many friends who loved and respected him.
Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held Wednesday, March 29, 2006, at 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, March 30, 2006, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside. Burial will fellow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens, under the direction of Smith Funeral Home.