On the evening of June 18, 2020, Celso S Ovalle departed peacefully knowing he was deeply loved by his family. He had strong faith and believed he would be reunited with the Love of his life, “Faye . He was born July 26, 1929, in San Antonio Texas; to Celso and Antonia Ovalle, he had three sisters, Margaret, Marianne and Eva. Following high school graduation and shortly after the death of his father, he joined the military at the tender age of 17 in August 1946. As he said goodbye to his mother, he was nervous and excited to be leaving San Antonio to serve in the Army Air Corp, only to be sent across town, to Kelly Air Force Base, in San Antonio. After just five short months as a new member of the Army Air Corp it was dissolved and he became a member of the US Air Force. He learned following an assessment that he had an aptitude for the medical field and was trained to serve as an X-ray technician and medical technician. He spent the next four years serving his country, spending two memorable years in Okinawa, Japan. At the completion of active duty, he re-enlisted as an Air Force Reservist and continued to serve his country. Just months before he was honorably discharged from active duty, he spotted Sophie working behind the counter in his favorite music store, where “records” were sold. After several weeks of pursuing her attention she finally agreed to meet him at the fiesta downtown San Antonio, despite the odds against him, he found her in a crowd of 60,000. That was the start of an incredible 67 years of a loving and happy relationship.
Celso earned his Bachelor of Science degree, at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with a major in Mathematics and a minor in English, exemplifying the standards he set for himself, because English was not his first language. His passion was teaching in particular, Mathematics, and English, he lived his life always interested in learning, and was a role model and an advocate for continued learning, education and equal opportunities for all people. Unable to find employment in San Antonio, he and his bride packed their home and two small children at the time, and drove to sunny Southern California, a place Celso had traveled through while in the military. With 10 years of combined military service, and teaching experience he applied and was hired by the US Navy, as a Mathematician/ Engineer, at The Pacific Missile Test Center; Point Mugu; today it is Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu. He enjoyed 27 highly successful years as a Federal employee serving the US Navy and his country. He served in many capacities and aspects of engineering, was a leader and advocate in computer science (what we now refer to as IT.) Because of his love for math computers seemed a natural fit for him. He enjoyed the exciting opportunities afforded him by the Navy, especially his opportunity to take the lead on the future computing at Point Mugu. The first computer he operated filled an entire room, and at that time few trained operators existed. One of his favorite stories he liked to share, was how he was laughed at because he predicted that all workers in the near future, would have computers small enough to fit on their desk top. He loved teaching and yearned to share his knowledge and love of math, so to fulfill that desire he taught nights at local colleges and Adult Education facilities in addition to working at Point Mugu. Over the years countless numbers of former students would flag him down in town and share with him how much of an impact he had on their lives, after being a student in his math or English class. These stories filled his heart with such pride and gladness. Of all of the awards and letters of recognition he received, his most favorite experience was the year he was awarded a Fellowship to study for one year at Princeton University in New Jersey. His second most favorite assignments were two separate times he went to work in the Pentagon, each time spending one year. Following his retirement he served as a substitute teacher for High schools and even a middle school here and there, still enjoying his passion. For 50 years, Celso and Sophie served actively on the board of the ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) a service organization that continues to this day to serve the developmentally disabled from birth through adulthood.
Celso and his wife Sophie had a marriage unlike most; they lived everyday totally and completely in love and committed to one another for 65 years. They were clearly one another’s favorite person and best friend, they loved one another deeply and had respect and mutual admiration for one another, and incredibly they made it look effortless. Throughout the years they collected extended family, several friends of their daughters, were welcomed and deemed “family” by the two of them. They were known as Mom & Dad to many. Many were given “nicknames” that remained with them through adulthood. During this last year he was often stopped and thanked by strangers for his service after recognizing the logo on his hat: as Army Air Corp. This meant a lot to him, often he was thanked by complete strangers that would buy his lunch, or coffee.
He will be dearly missed by each member of his family, extended family, and friends.
He is survived by daughters Cynthia Ovalle, Sandra Ovalle Lopez and Rosalind Romero, son-in-law
Eddie Romero, son Philip Ovalle, granddaughters, Rachelle Rohrback, Jocelyn Rohrback, Karrisa Estrada,
CindyMay Romero, Grandsons, Isaac Ovalle Lopez, Thomas Romero, Nicholas Romero, great-grandson, James Hunter, great granddaughters Vanessa Hunter, & Theresa Hunter. He is preceded in death by daughter Catherine Sue, and his loving wife Sophie.