Felipe Espinoza, Jr., Funeral Card Friday

Felipe Espinoza Jr.

[I never had the opportunity to know my grandfather, but I adored him much more than anyone would understand. Our few hours together  could not be matched even if I had spent a million hours with him. I discovered from this picture, that I have his “eyebrows”!  I always wondered who on earth had eyebrows like mine?]

A 55-year resident of San Pedro, passed away on October 8, 2010, at the age of 84. He was born in Wickenburg, Arizona on March 3, 1926. He was a World War II veteran, and attained 50 years membership in Local 721, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Felipe is survived by his wife of 63 years, Esther Espinoza, and leaves behind three children, 7 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. On October 15, 2010, visitation will be at 12:30 p.m. and services will follow at 1:00 p.m. at Green Hills Mortuary and Memorial Chapel. Burial will follow at Green Hills Memorial Park.

Published in Daily Breeze on October 14, 2010


Felipe Espinoza, Jr. was my grandfather, whom I met when I was twenty-one years old when I showed up with no invite, at his home in San Pedro, CA.  I remember him as a very kind person, and quite handsome.  He made me feel welcomed once I got past the front gate and into my grandparents home. He later told me they thought I was selling cookies, and that they thought I was my sister with short hair.

I feel my story of reunion with my birth family begins with my grandfather Felipe, as he was the first one I met, and he was the one who took me to see my “Mother.”  My (birth) mother was a missionary, and she was coming to dock later that evening.  I had no idea of this information, but I was at home two days before Christmas, and I heard God say “Go!”  So I packed up my three children at the time, and went.  There was no better time, as I recollect, my “Mother” was to be preparing for another trip and that she might not have been available to me except for the day I arrived.  If I had not shown up that day, I would have missed her.

An interesting story that was told to me be my “Mother,” of which I still need to confirm, is my grandfather’s father was Full Native American.  His tribe was annihilated physically and culturally.  My Great-Grandfather’s parents were murdered along with many others in the border of Arizona, so my Great Grandfather was adopted into the Espinoza family, who were of Mexican descent.  I may have some of this information incorrect, however it does make sense.

It has been very difficult for me not to be recognized as a “regular” member of the family, and documented as such in my Grandfather’s obituary.  If I had to rewrite my Grandfather’s obit, the number of grandchildren would have been “8” instead of “7”, there also would have been “15” great grandchildren instead of “11”, and there would have been “3” great great grandchildren instead of none.

[Funeral Card]  I attended his burial and my daughter attended the funeral.

Funeral Card
Funeral Card for Felipe Espinoza, Jr.
Grave site service

Doves being released at Felipe Espinoza’s Burial


I see that as I dig deeper into the life of my grandfather Felipe Espinoza, I will find that this truly is a story of Love, Adoption, Sacrifice & Acceptance.