Francisco Vela

Born in El Paso, Texas on November 20, 1935. Entered into Heaven on November 7, 2022, at 86 years old. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Virginia Hortencia Vela, and his four children and their spouses Francisco Lorenzo (Lena) Vela Jr., Claudio Gilbert (Ann) Vela, Arturo (Dorothy) Vela, and Maria Guadalupe (Nick) Quintero. He is also survived by his 12 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, 7 step-grandchildren, 11 step-great-grandchildren, and 1 step-great-great-grandchild. Francisco was preceded in death by his mother, Sofia Oropeza, and his sisters, Amparo Ramos and Delores (Lola) Robles. Francisco grew up in El Paso, Texas and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1953 (at age 17). He proudly served his country during the Korean War, where he was assigned to the U.S.S. Radford 446 Destroyer. He went on to serve by being stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and being deployed to Yokosuka and Okinawa (Midway Bucker Bay), Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Subic Bay Manila, Philippines. He exceled throughout his 4-year military career and was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, the China Service Military Ribbon, the United Nations Service Military Medal/Ribbon, and the National Defense Service Medal. Following his military career, he continued to be a member of the Veterans of Foreign War. Francisco was a resident of San Bernardino, California for 58 years. He retired from the United States Postal Service after 22 years but continued to work for the city and the county of San Bernardino. He was an active member of his community, which included being a member of the Knights of Columbus 905, reaching the level of Fourth Degree and holding multiple positions including Grand Knight. He was also a Scout Master with the Cub Scouts Pack 100 and assisted with the Boy Scouts Troop 905. He enjoyed many hobbies including bowling, fishing, golfing, and traveling to Laughlin. He loved talking to family, friends, neighbors, and anyone he met. He will always be remembered for his warmth and genuinely kind and gentle nature.

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