Below are a couple of the readings from the service.
Daddy - By Melissa Rocha
My dad, or as I called him 'daddy', He was my 'cool' dad, a friend, someone I could talk to about things not every daughter could talk to their dad about. And he was so funny! I used to love when he would come up to tell me bedtime stories usiing my stuffed animals. He would gives them names and impersonate funny voices and make them do silly things like fart on one another! He also taught me how to shoot pool at about 8 years old. He was an avid pool shooter, and his favorite movie was 'The Color of Money'. He would play back the line "money won is twice as sweet as money earned"... He definetely loved to hustle a few pool games in his day! I also loved to stay up with my dad to watch shows like 'Monday Night Raw', wrestling and 'In Living Color', even though I didnt understand most the jokes at the time. He took me to my very first rock concert when i was 13. Stone Temple Piolets, and we enjoyed many more after that too! I thought it was so cool that my dad liked the same music as I did. But nevertheless, he showed me what 'good, honest, hard work' meant. I accompanied him on job sites at age 12. We would do anything from cleaning houses, yard work, even going to the dump. I enjoyed every bit of it because I was with my dad, and thats all that mattered. I really looked up to him in this way. Daddys little helper he would call me....
He was also a nurturing son, a quipster-like grandfather, an endearing significant other, a bantering yet loyal friend or co-worker. But one thing is certain, he was an unforgettable individual to everyone that knew him well enough. He was humorous, animated, bold, and quick-witted. A straightforward, intelligent confidant. He loved to give advice to others. Yet he was also very simple and practical man for the most part. He would always make fun of our high-tech cell phones, and computers. He never needed such amenities in his life, nor did he rely on them. He was also be a bit of a loose cannon if you know what i mean! He was a little mischevious, and had probably gotten himself in one too many sticky situations at times. One of the greatest things I remember about him is that he was a great, captivating story teller, you could always count on him for a interesting, wild or funny story to tell about a life experience of his own or someone he knew; most the time ending in a lesson learned in the form of a punchline. Yes, quite the jokster he was too, with an infectious laugh at that! Sometimes I would find myself laughing before he finished a joke because he would start to laugh before he could even finish himself!
My dad was fun, exciting, the center of attention at times, while others, he was queitly in the background, most the time bbq-ing, cooking, always making sure we were fed well at special occasions, parties and birthdays! He definetely knew how to entertain his guests! Every birthday party I had as a young girl, daddy was always making sure everyone was fed and having a good time. Most the time it was hard to get a good picture of him during these occasions because he was always on the move!
He was also a truely loyal, dedicated, sweet and gentle man, especially when looking after his family. Not always did we get to see this side of him, for he was quite subborn at times too. With that said he was so devoted to providing and caring for us, especially in a time of need, that a lot of times he sacrificed his own comfort to do this for us, which is truely admirable to me. He just enjoyed feeling appreciated. He worked so hard almost all his life to do make sure we were always okay... But dont get me wrong he definately had his play time too, but he was honestly the hardest working person ive ever known. Sometimes we wouldnt see him on holidays such as, Christmas or Thanksgiving because he was working, and for awhile I never understood that. But now I know it was just because he wanted the very best for us, and would stop at nothing to make sure of that.
He was not always vocal about emotions, I'm sure many would agree with me on this. But I know how he felt because he showed every bit through his actions, the things he would do, or the things he would go without, which to me, is more than words could ever say. He may not have always said the "I love you's'' or things like that, but his actions of being a hard working man, yet generous soul, and exceptional provider, spoke volumes. "Actions speak louder than words", I would always think to myself. My dad was not a talker, he was a doer, a go-getter so to speak. He was very adament about making things happen. So I know he loved and cared for each one of us, so much that he didnt have to say it, you knew it because you could feel it.
So today 'Daddy', I just want to let you know that I am very thankful for everything you've done for me, and how joyful and blessed I've been to have had you in my life for the 26 years of my life. It has meant the world to me. And although you are not physically here anymore, I know without a doubt, you are still here to continue to watch over us and be there no matter what like you always have been!!
A Simple Man - By Wesley Rocha
My Dad was a simple man. He did not need much to get by.. he took what he had and made the most of it. He liked cars, but didn’t need a fancy car. He liked money and success, but didn’t need a lot to be happy. He loved sports, especially the Greenbay Packers, (by the way which are 9 and 4 now), and a part of me thinks my dad helped them win those last 2 games, I mean you should have seen this last Sunday when Ryan Grant ran 62 years for a touchdown --- but anyway… My Dad and I would talk sports every week. I miss his calls on Sundays during the games.. We would talk business, as we exchanged ideas about each other business and thought about how we can take it to the next step. These things are the things we had most in common and I am glad as those qualities can live on through me and hopefully my kids as well.
He also loved cooking, he was great at the grill as well as in the kitchen. He loved the movie Color of Money, he probably watched that movies 1000 times. He was also a jokester. He was always making Jokes, he was the funny guy in the room. That is probably one of things everyone remembers about my dad.
He was young at heart, but wise in his mind. He would get along with all ages.. he could hang out with me and my friends and they would say, “Wes, you have a cool dad”. Years back my Dad and I bought a house and we moved in together. We had a pool table right in the living room. My Dad was a pool shark. He played pool for years and was really good. He taught me, my sister, my mom how to be better pool shooters. That was always fun. We would have marathon competitions with my friends and go all night competing and shooting pool. My Dad and I spent a lot of time together during those years and had gotten very close. We watched EVERY Packers game together and even went to a few. I know my dad lived his life to the fullest. He always would tell me “life is short”, you gotta do it while you can and know he took any opportunity he had to enjoy something in life.. had my Dad had a bucket list, I’d guess he would have 98% of those things checked off by now.
My Dad was always there when I or my sister were in need. He was always bailing us out of our situations and talked to us, but never really lectured us. He thought it was important to learn by our own mistakes. He would always be giving people advice. He was always wanting to just help someone get ahead in life, his co-workers, friends, kids and family. He always put everyone’s needs before his own, especially for us kids. I know he loved us a lot and would do anything he could for us.
My Dad didn’t want much, he didn’t need much… I think most of all, he want his kids to be successful and just out of trouble. He wanted good kids who made good decisions and learned from his mistakes. I know my Dad loved my sister and I and was proud of us. He did make sure to always tell me, that he was proud and he loved me.
And while my Dad made his share of mistakes…., some which have given him some fun little adventures, and then some which have gotten him into some trouble… but overall, he was a good man with a good heart.
A Secret Hero - By Oscar L.
My name is Oscar L. and Julian was my cousin. I am sorry that I cannot be there in person to say what is about to be read but I want everyone to know what Julian meant to me.
Julian was a couple of years older than me so when we lived in Laredo, Texas and used to go visit my aunts and him it was a great treat. You see Julian was cool and I looked up to him. He was a great athlete and he was good at everything. He used to be very good at playing marbles and he used to have big bags of all types and sizes of marbles. He was also very good at spinning tops and he had some really nice ones. He would always try to teach us how to spin tops but I could never do it as well as he did.
When we heard that my aunts and he were moving to California, I was sad because it meant that we were not going to see him very often. When my aunt wrote to my mom, she would talk about how Julian was surfing. It did not surprise me because I knew that he was such a great athlete. I was so jealous of him and at the same time, I was proud that he was my cousin.
In 1980 or 1981 my wife and I moved to Bakersfield, California so we had an opportunity to go see my aunts and Julian. He and Doreen had just bought a house in Pomona, California. When we came to visit them, Doreen was working that Saturday but he was at home with Wesley, who was about 2 years old. I remember him showing me their house and I was so impressed because they had brick edging next to the side walk and was even more impressed when he told me that he had done it himself. It looked awesome, he did a super job. I guess this was about the time that I decided to learn how to do things myself, to learn how to be a handyman. I never told anyone including Julian but he was my inspiration to becoming the handyman that I have become.
Later on he had told me that he had become a part owner of a bar. Being an accountant, I knew how risky it was to take on such an endeavor. When I saw Julian, I told him I thought what he was doing was great and that he was now an entrepreneur. I will never forget his reaction; he had a big grin on his face and said what an entrepreneur? No man, he said. Yes, that is what you are, you are an entrepreneur. I think that he had never really thought about what he was doing in those terms, but it hit a nerve with him. I could tell that it affected him in a good way. I think for the first time he did see himself as one and I think he was proud of himself. Once again, I looked up to Julian for being a risk taker, someone that I wanted to belike but just didn’t have the guts to take the risks, but that’s accountants for you.
The thing is that Julian was a risk taker. It takes a risk taker to go into business for yourself. So Wesley now you know where you got your entrepreneurship from.
Well that is all I have to say about the cousin that I always looked up to. I have never told anyone that Julian was my hero, but I am glad that everyone now knows what my cousin meant to me. Farewell cousin, I love you, I will miss you, but you will always be my hero.