Ruben Joseph Gomez, age 83, died in his hometown of Santa Barbara on Nov. 10, 2019, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ruben was born July 12, 1936 at Cottage Hospital to Angelina and Theodore Gomez. He attended Franklin School, Santa Barbara Junior High and graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1955.
After high school he served his country honorably as a Marine Corp drill sergeant. He served in the Marine Corp Reserves until Aug. 29, 1961. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi.
He began his painting career with the help of Alex Funke. Attending Santa Barbara City College for business, he went on to build a very successful company, Ruben J. Gomez Painting and Decorating INC. for 34 years. He joined the IUPAT (Painters Union) in 1974.
Ruben retired in 2008 to enjoy his life with his family, friends and his loving dog Jewels.
Ruben is survived by his children Gigi, Denise and Gina; seven grandchildren Michael (Lita), Shannon, Danielle (Jake), Ruben (Tavia), Aaron (Annie), Ashley and Evan (Lara); six great grandchildren Alexis, Anthony, Andin, Jonathan, Adrian, Arden, Cruz, Beau and Thomas; one great-great grandchild Adaline; a sister Sally (Don); sisters-in-law Lupe, Maggie; nephews and nieces Mike, Marina, Lynda, Anthony, Anna, John, Che and Elena; and many cousins and great nephews and nieces.
Ruben is preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife of 41 years Joan (Joannie); his son Ruben; brothers Tony, Lupe and Rudy; and son-in-law Ernie.
Ruben was loved by many with his quirky sense of humor, his contagious laugh, kind heart and the love for his family and friends. When he was a child, he was an altar boy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
In his youth he loved drag racing. He enjoyed playing golf on the weekends with Tony and every Monday morning with Bill, Chaz, Gene, Joe and Lucio. He was a member of Los Paisanos Golf Club for many years. In 1980 he won the Bowling League Championship with his daughter Gigi, Richard and Alice.
He was thrilled to be part of the 1955 Santa Barbara High School Alumni Reunion Committee. Ruben took great pleasure in showing off his Orange ’34 Ford sedan, which he loved to share at the classic car shows. He was a long-time member of the Ignitors Car Club.
He always looked forward to meeting up with his Franklin School buddies and having lunch with his Tuesday and Thursday cronies. For more than 30 years he shared a business relationship and strong friendship with Greg.
Sincere gratitude to Dr. Robert Byers, Alzheimer’s Association (Alz.org) for many, many, many phone calls. His (lady friends) caregivers Dorie and Sally. The nurses and staff at the Serenity House for all their kindness and compassion during the last two weeks of Ruben’s life.
Funeral services will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at Welch-Ryce-Haider Mortuary, 15 E. Sola St. Burial services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Calvary Cemetery on Hope Avenue, followed by a reception at Mulligans Café, 3500 McCaw Ave.