Joe Medina Gondarilla - beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend - passed away peacefully on June 5, 2018 at the young age of 91 years. Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Ophelia, in May 2017.
Joe was born in Fullerton, CA on October 10, 1926 to Epitacio and Maria Medina Gondarilla. His family moved around southern California until they finally settled in Oxnard, where Joe attended Guadalupe School and Oxnard High School.
As a proud American, Joe served in the United States Army during WWII. After returning from military duty in the Philippines, he met the love of his life at a Catholic summer school program. He later married Ophelia Velo in October 1950 at Guadalupe Church in Oxnard. They were married for 67 years.
Joe worked diligently to support his family as a Foreman for 25 years at Gentry Corporation. From there, he worked at Kaiser Aluminum, Stauffers and finally retired after spending 10 years as a Groundsman for the Oxnard High School District.
A devoted husband, dad and grandpa, Joe enjoyed playing golf, dancing and attending concerts, as well as spending time with his family and friends. His life was filled with many BBQs, camping trips, family celebrations, weekends at Carpinteria beach and traveling to Mexico and Hawaii. He faithfully went to the gym and spent many moments relaxing with Ophelia, “Chief,” watching sports and America’s Funniest Videos and talking about the “good old days.”
Joe is survived by his children, Gerri Hickenbottom (husband Barry), JoAnn Eash (husband Mark), Julie Archer (husband Dennis) and his four grandchildren, Joel (wife Joanna), Jon (wife Mary Claire), Jackie and Russell, along with extended family.
The family would like to especially extend our gratitude to the nurses and staff at Saint John’s Hospital in Oxnard, Glenwood Care Center, as well as the wonderful caregivers and loving neighbors who took care of Joe and Ophelia over the last six years.
His contagious smile and wit will be missed. Vaya Con Dios, DAD!
A Celebration of Life will be held at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park in Camarillo, CA on Friday, June 29th at 10am, with interment to follow. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity close to your heart in Joe’s name.
...Family in the care of Erin Arteaga, Funeral Director