Guadalupe (Lupe) Gutierrez Aguilar, 96, passed away, June 27, 2010, after a short illness, in Wharton, Texas.
Mr. Aguilar was born on Aug. 29, 1913, in Sinton, Texas, to Clemente and Juana Aguilar. He was the youngest of six children after Francisco, Agripina, Clemente, Martina and Paulino. Lupe Aguilar was a talented musician and barber, always willing to help out, who taught his children many valuable lessons.
Lupe grew up in South Texas, where he learned to play the saxophone as a young boy of 13 or 14. One day he heard live music coming from somewhere in his neighborhood; he searched it out and was introduced to a group of jazz musicians. So it was there that Lupe learned to play jazz music which had a lasting impact on him his entire life. Even as an adult, when he played special music at church, people would ask if brother Aguilar ever played with a jazz band.
He served in the U.S. Army, was deployed to Germany, and fought bravely in combat. Soon he reached the status of Staff Sergeant. He trained soldiers at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, Fort Sam Houston, and Fort Camp Callan near La Jolla, California. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and during his service he received the American Defense Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign World War II Medal, American Campaign Medal, American Freedom Medal, and Service Medal.
It was during 1939-1940 that he met and fell in love with Adela Garza. They were married May 1941 and had eight children: Maria Adela, and Arturo Alberto, from San Diego, Calif., Erlinda Ann, Caldwell, Idaho, Guadalupe Jr. and Robert Eloy from, Hanford, Calif., Adrian, Tujunga, Calif., Maria Alicia, Bakerfield, Calif., and Eduardo, who died as a baby in 1948.After the war, he made his profession as a barber. He went to school in San Antonio through the GI bill. He opened his own barber shop in Edinburg and worked there from 1949 to 1960. He also set up an office in the shop as a Notary Public. People referred to him as Lupe, El Barbero, el Maestro.
In 1960, the family traveled to California and settled in the San Joaquin Valley. He applied to be a barber at Lemoore Naval Air Station. They were happy to have him, and he worked there until he retired in 1976. However, sitting around wasn’t for Lupe. With three of his children working in the medical field, he soon caught the bug and decided to attend classes and become a certified nurse assistant. Destiny took him back to Texas after his wife of 53 years passed away. He remarried and settled in Wharton, the area where he had grown up. He took the State Board Exam for barbering and passed it. He started working again in a barber shop and had regular customers who came back to him for their cuts and for a chat. All this was at the age of 80 years old. He never lost his talent for the real barber shop haircuts that are so hard to get nowadays.
He leaves behind a legacy in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Among them are eight nurses, two sons who served in the military, one barber, two beauticians, two officers in law enforcement, and several children and grandchildren who share his gift for music. He is survived by his second wife, Dominga Cerrillo Aguilar, who resides in Wharton; seven children, 20 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, one great-grandnephew, and two great-grandnieces.
Interim will be on Sept. 4, at 10 a.m. at Hanford Cemetery District, 10500 10th Ave. Hanford, Calif.. A Celebration of Life Service will be that afternoon, at 2:30 p.m, at the Hanford Spanish Seventh-Day Adventist Church.