“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new for these words are faithful and true.’” Rev 21:4-5.
Early in the evening of Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, God shouted out, “Corpsman Up!” and you answered the call to go care for your Vietnam Marines.
“Uncle Reggie” left us under his own wishes peacefully that day in the medical intensive care unit at Cottage Hospital, with his loving family at his side, and was delivered into the heavenly arms of his Cordero/Leyva family that had gone before him.
Reginald “Reggie” H. Cordero was an eighth-generation descendant of Mariano Cordero, a Spanish soldier who arrived in Santa Barbara in 1786 with Fr. Junípero Serra, and helped establish the Santa Barbara Presidio and Misson.
Reggie was the second-born son to Daniel V. Cordero and Margaret Loretta (Leyva) Cordero, on March 20, 1944. Reggie grew up in Santa Barbara, where he attended Franklin School, and Santa Barbara Jr. High, and was a proud Santa Barbara High School Don, graduating with his class of 1963.
Reggie was a proud member of the Blue Coat stage crew that formed and stayed together from junior high, and carried on putting on shows in the SBHS auditorium.
After graduation, Reggie took his Marine Corps brother’s advice, joined the Navy, and became a U.S. Navy Corpsmen, training as an O.R. surgical tech at Balboa Navel Hospital. However, despite his brother’s wishes, he was assigned to Camp Pendelton to corps school to be trained as a combat corpsman.
After Corps School, Reggie was shipped to Okinawa, and assigned to the 3rd battalion 9th Marines, In March 1965 3/9 became the first Marine unit to go ashore in Da Nang, South Vietnam, There Reggie helped establish the first field hospital established in August 1965 on Marble Mountain, where he served as a trauma nurse in the O.R.
After his discharge from the Navy, Reggie started his 30-year career as a surgical tech in the O.R. at St. Francis Hospital, followed by two years in the O.R. at Marian Hospital in Santa Maria, followed by his retirement as the supervisor of central supply services at Cottage Hospital.
Reggie, was an active SBHS Band Booster during his son Reggie Jr.’s high school years, helping with barbecues and fundraisers. He was a fun and beloved bartender, and enjoyed playing pool and poker with his buddies as an active member of Santa Barbara Fraternal Order of Eagles #442.
Reggie loved the weekend barbecues with his family and friends, playing poker and hearts listening to the songs of his favorite singer Nancy Wilson; and breakfast at Mulligan’s. He loved playing and watching tennis; he loved it when his Rams, put a “whooping” on those “Stupid” Cowboys!
Reggie is preceded in death by his parents Daniel V. Cordero and Margaret Loretta (Leyva) Cordero; and his former wife Mary (Mares). He is survived by his son Reggie Jr. (Cheryl) of Altadena, California; daughter Carol Ann Solis (Juan) of Santa Barbara; sister Linda Lemp (Steve) of Hamilton, Montana; brothers Danny (Barbara) and Michael (Charisse) of Carpinteria; and grandchildren Nathan Ben and Andrew Cordero, Leanna and Ashley Lomeli, Alina Ashford; and his pride and joy great grandson ‘Lil’ Leo Ruiz; and numerous Cordero/Leyva cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial and celebration of life will be held on March 18, 2023, at a location and time to be announced.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the Cottage Hospital MICU unit for Reggie’s loving care.