Tony Garcia Perez
September 1941 ~ February 2021
Tony Garcia Perez, 79, died on February 13, 2021 at approximately 11:55am at the intersection of Keyes Road & Faith Home Road in Ceres, CA.
He was born in San Antonio, Texas to Frederico Perez & Amalia Perez on September 30, 1941, a Libra. During his pre-school years, his family caravans with several neighbors to the State of CA. He grew up in Bakersfield, CA going to school at Casa Loma Elementary, graduated from Bakersfield High School & attended Bakersfield College. His hobbies included golfing & guitar playing. He married his high school sweetheart, Frances Gomez, on September 29, 1962.
His employment career started at an auto dealership, Three Way Chevrolet, as an auto mechanic. After a few years, he was hired by the State of California, Department of Water Resources. He was on one of the large & historical crews that built the California Aqueduct pipeline that runs & climbs the California Grapevine along the highway system. Other special projects he was involved in included the Summer Youth Program, removing & refurbishing waterflow gates & research at the fish facility, counting/logging the various fish species populating the aqueduct including the endangered red legged frog.
Employment with the CA State Department of Water Resources from 1974-2003 relocated him to Taft, Lost Hills, Wasco & Manteca. With several promotions, he retired as a Utility Craft Supervisor at Byron Pumping Plant, Civil Maintenance Branch. He retired with 38 years with 65,000 hours of service. After retirement, he drove a big rig truck hauling almond by-products in the Modesto area part-time.
He was dedicated to his children in so many ways, celebrating holidays, birthdays & sports. All the events were so special & memorable to all of his children. He traveled anywhere to support his children for their track, cross country meets & dance recitals. He taught his son, Tony Jr., to shoot rifles at an early age & also taught him to play golf. The two of them golfed at all the courses in Modesto, Manteca & River Oaks in Ceres. He would bring his son, Tony, surprises from work at the aqueduct like rodents, squirrels, rabbits & harmless snakes which sparked Tony’s interest in wildlife. The love of wildlife was passed down to his daughter, Madelynne, who has raised a bearded dragon for the past two years now. His grandchildren were also blessed by his love. He put up a pop-up pool in his backyard so that they could keep cool on hot summer days. Most of their sports events, graduations, music concerts & dance recitals were his priority to attend to. Even when they were old enough to have children, he was right at the hospital with them. When they got their own home, he was the first to go over & do any home repairs/improvements they needed help with. He always called himself a jack of all trades, but master of none. His granddaughter, Madelynne, expressed “Thank you for all you have done for me, fly high!”
He enjoyed fishing, golfing, working out, camping, traveling, guitar playing & astronomy. His favorite constellations were Orion The Hunter & Cassiopeia The Great W. Guitar playing was part of his evening wind-down time even writing his own songs. Carlos, his son, would come home from work listening to him playing & singing to his deceased wife. The lyrics in his songs were good things, all confirming that Frances was still with him even though he missed her so much. He traveled after his retirement to Hawaii & Mexico with his daughter, Carmen & son-in-law, Paul. Monday, Wednesday & Friday were his regular work out days every week.
The legacy he leaves behind is that he is loved by not just his family, but so many nieces & nephews, friends & neighbors. His neighbors Ray & Linda became his extended family. He knew no strangers, befriending bank tellers, grocery store clerks, insurance agents, mechanics, restaurant waitresses, staff at his gym & even the homeless. He would give the shirt off his back to a stranger. He always saw the best in people & never gave up on anyone. Known as a jokester with his Chester cat smile, he always had a way to bring laughter into someone’s day.
Tony is survived by his son, Tony M. Perez, & his children, Trevor McConniel & Madelynne Perez. Also his daughter, Carmen DeRego & her husband, Paul DeRego. Tony’s second son, Carlos Perez & Tony’s first daughter, Annette Payan, her husband, John Payan Jr. & their children, Alyse Payan, Corie Marshall, John Payan III, Taylor Payan, Dylan Payan, & Jerome Gunzon. His great-grandchildren are William Marshall, Nolan Marshall & August Payan.
His final wish was to have his ashes scattered at Monterey Bay to rejoin his wife, the love of his life & best friend.
There will be a mass on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 10:00 am. It will be held at St. Jude Parish, 3824 Mitchell Road, Ceres, CA.
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