Joseph Ernest Gomez Jr., AKA “Gramps”, “Pal” and “The Chicken”
Saturday, December 17, 1949 – Monday, January 16, 2023, Age 73
Joseph “Joe” Ernest Gomez Jr., A.K.A. “Gramps”, “Pal” and “The Chicken”, of Denver, CO passed away at home on the morning of Monday, January 16, 2023, at the age of 73 after what we estimate was about a year-long battle with Advanced Multiple Myeloma Cancer, which was officially diagnosed in October 2022.
Joe was born on Saturday, December 17, 1949, in Raton, NM to the union of Joseph Ernest Gomez Sr. (A.K.A. Jose Ernesto Gomez Sr. or “Ernie”) and Rose (Ortega) Gomez. He was the second of eight children. Joe met Loretta Jean Arellano on July 20, 1969, the day man landed on the moon. He and Loretta married on Saturday, February 13, 1971, at All Saints Catholic Church in Denver, CO. Joe was the father of three sons: Joe, Greg, and Mike.
Joe was raised in Raton, N.M., but lived in Denver most of his life. He graduated from Raton High School in 1967.
After graduation, Joe attended Trinidad Junior College until 1969 where he studied Detailing and Draftsmanship.
Joe was one of the last pencil draftsmen and worked in the Steel Fabrication Industry for over 50 years. Joe was a brilliant, highly respected, and sought-after Draftsman who worked for many companies on many prestigious projects throughout his career, including the Mt. Evans Observatory; the Pedestrian Bridge at D.U.; the Fast Tracks / Light Rail System in Denver, Coors Field, Mile High Stadium (both old and new), the Topanga Dam in California and countless other bridges and other projects in his lifetime.
In his younger years, Joe played Catcher in Fast Pitch Softball Leagues all over Denver and was known by his nickname “Joe Boots” because he wore his steel-toed boots instead of cleats. Joe loved the Broncos, fishing with his Grand-Kids and visiting them. He often said it was the greatest thing that ever happened to him, becoming a Gramps. Joe was an avid outdoorsman and an Eagle Scout. He told stories of camping by himself up and down the Mesa and Raton Pass as a boy and his wife Loretta joked that he won her over with his ability to catch a fish bare-handed. He loved to tell stories about picnicking in Sugarite Canyon with his family, eating choke-cherry pies his mom used to make, hunting, fishing, and camping with his dad and brothers, cousins, and friends. He often said he had “a great childhood”. He also liked to gamble and once hit over $35K on a slot machine. He became quite a gardener in his later years, even being caught gardening by the Google Earth Mobile in 2016, just one year after surviving a heart attack!
Joe was preceded in death in the following order: By his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who is Risen!; His Mother Rose Gomez (1971); Grandson Phillip Gomez (1999); Grandson Onesimus “Onesy” Gomez (2003); His Father Joe Gomez Sr. (2009); His Sister Rosalie “Rose” Martinez (2014); His Youngest Son Michael Eli Gomez A.K.A. Bronco Mike Gomez (2015); His Oldest Brother Anthony “Tony” Gomez (2015) and His Brother Andrew “Andy” Gomez (2015).
Joe is survived by his wife of 51 years Loretta Jean (Arellano) Gomez; His Oldest Son Rev. Joseph Ernest Gomez III (Stephanie), His Second Oldest Son Gregory “Greg” Isaac Gomez and Six Grandchildren: Joseph “Joey” Ernest Gomez IV (Robbi); Jacob Timothy Gomez; Paul Merea Gomez; Alyssa Morgan Gomez; Silas Eleos Gomez and Timothy Ezekiel Gomez, as well as his “Great-Grand-pup” Gus the Shih Tzu and perhaps his little sparrow Peepers who he hand-raised.
Joe is also survived by His Sister Mary Ann Sproule (Wayne) of Raton; His Brother Norbert “Noby” Gomez (Nancy) of Raton; His Brother Frank “Chicky” Gomez (Sandra) of Raton and His Sister Jackie Fanelli (Jim) of Raton as well as Aunts, Cousins, Nieces, Nephews, Sisters-In-Law and many lifelong friends and other relatives.
His family would like to thank his Oncologists, Chemo and Care Team, and Cardiac Team especially his son Greg who saved his life when he had his heart attack on February 16, 2015. In accordance with his wishes, there was no viewing and Joe was cremated on 1/27/23 in the care of After.com & in conjunction with Wilbert Funeral Services. Joe’s Celebration of Life / Memorial Service will be held at a later date and time to be determined.
Gramps, our “Little Chicken” will be forever missed. Rest in Peace Grampsie—I love you Dad (Joe).