Oct. 6, 1942 — May 4, 2013
God chose the beautiful day of May 4, 2013, to call home the soul of Hilario Bruno Gonzalez, who passed away at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla following a lengthy illness (brave battle with lung cancer).
Affectionately called “Lalo,” “Larry,” and/or “Speedy,” he was the eldest son of migrant workers. He was born on Oct. 6, 1942, to the late Gumecindo and Guadalupe (Herrera) Gonzalez in Bayport, Mich. His family later settled in nearby Carrollton, where he attended Carrollton Union Elementary and Carrollton Junior High School, graduating from Saginaw High School in 1961. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1962, proudly serving his country until his retirement in 1984 in the rank of staff sergeant. Larry was very proud of his military service and his tour of duty in Vietnam. He spoke highly of the U.S. Armed Services and supported any veteran he met. He was very active volunteering with the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in many capacities.
Larry leaves behind to carry on his memory his loving wife at home, Wanda Brink-Gonzalez; a son, William Roy Gonzalez of Petaluma, Calif.; step-children, Ben and Dan Brink of Walla Walla; former wife, Judith Gonzalez of Waskom, Texas; brothers and sisters in Michigan, Angelita (Bradley) Melcher of Saginaw, Carlos (Marilu) Gonzalez of Carrollton, Marie Inez (Larry) Coulter of Birch Run, Alberto (Carol) Gonzalez of Freeland, Refujia (Robert) Baszler of Montrose, and Gumecindo “J.R.” (Theresa) Gonzalez of Saginaw; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Larry enjoyed traveling with his wife, Wanda, and was involved in many civic organizations and veterans groups. He had been employed previously by Brittany Farms of Milton-Freewater for several summers operating harvesting equipment, at Sykes Enterprises of Milton-Freewater, and for the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center, where he finally retired.
Larry was very active in AA and sponsored many individuals. He organized, chaired and led many sober support meetings. He was very proud of this organization and that he could help many individuals obtain and then maintain sobriety. Upon his death, many calls were taken acknowledging Larry’s help in maintaining their day-to-day lives and sobriety.
In accordance with Larry’s wishes, he was cremated. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Herring-Groseclose Funeral Home.
A celebration of life ceremony has been set for May 15, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center (Chapel) with a pot luck to follow at Fort Walla Walla Rotary Shelter.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Volunteer Services of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
Friends and family are invited to sign the online guest book at www.herringgroseclose.com.