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Victor Gorostiza October 17, 1929 - February 24, 2022

October 17, 1929 ~ February 24, 2022

Victor was born in Nachitua, Vizcaya, Spain “”or as he called it, “the old country” in October of 1929. As a young boy, he grew up herding sheep and tending to cattle on his uncle’s farm in the town of Gernika. In 1941, at the age of 12, he emigrated to California with his mother by ship. His first job was at the Wool Growers Restaurant, where he helped his mother cook and clean. During this time, Victor also attended Los Banos Junior High/High School where he learned the English language through long hours of studying.

In 1950, when he was 21 years old, Victor joined the U.S Army in order to earn citizenship for his family. He was assigned to the 1st Calvary 99th Field Artillery and served on the front lines in Korea, where he remained in combat until the Armistice in 1953. Once discharged, Victor traveled back to Los Banos by train; determined to build a life for himself.

After his time in the service, Victor met his sweetheart Alberta (Francis) Gorostiza at a local dance. They married in 1954 and Victor purchased a plot of land where he built his home with the help of his greatest friends. He and Alberta shared 68 years of marriage and had one beautiful daughter, Victoria Lynn. 

Vic worked as an auto mechanic from his time in the Army until retirement. He was employed at Ford Motor Company and also worked for Central California Irrigation District for 30 years. Even after retiring, he continued to help others with his vast knowledge of cars. Victor was known for his kindness and generosity to others; he mentored many and was very well loved.

What Victor enjoyed most was cooking and eating with his family and friends; as well as attending social gatherings, fishing, camping and deer hunting during his annual trip to Colorado. He was a member of the American Legion, the VFW, and the Los Banos Basque Club for over 50 years. He served as a Rifleman at Military Honors Ceremonies and was a member of our local Color Guard. 

Victor is survived by his wife Alberta Gorostiza; daughter Victoria Camarillo (Francisco); siblings Carmen Amparan of Los Banos, California and Frances Arrambarri of Mendata, Vizcaya, Spain; grandchildren Damon Gorostiza (Elizabeth), Alexandra Sandoval, and Mia Belle Sandoval; one great grandson Ethan; as well as numerous beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Ygnacio and Maria Gorostiza.

Victor will always be remembered as one of our local heroes, and #1 in our hearts.

Memorial contributions can be made in his memory to Los Banos Basque Club or Covenant Care Hospice in Turlock.

Memorial mass will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Los Banos on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 10:00a.m. with interment to follow at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery at 1:00p.m. in Santa Nella.

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  1. Allie says

    My grandfather was “one hell of a guy” as he would say about others he admired. He will be dearly missed. Goian bego bere arima alaia (above is his merry soul) ♥

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