Jesse Hernandez was born on February 24, 1948 in French Camp, California to a migrant farm labor family. He was one of four children to the Hernandez family. Throughout his life, Jesse lived between Northern California and Tijuana, before finally settling down as an adult and raising his own family in San Diego. In their late teens, Jesse and his older brother Johnny entered the workforce. In San Diego, Jesse worked as a pipefitter for 48 years and retired when he was 67 years old. Jesse was a kind-hearted father to his children, Michelle and Steven. His four grandchildren Bianca, Nina, Sena and Korai were the pride of his life. He worked hard to provide for his family. He is also survived by his brother Isidro (Johnny) and sisters Jovita and Rose Marie. They will forever miss him tremendously and feel that any family photo without him will be incomplete.
MY FATHER – Jesse was old school, a real man among men but one who was not hyper masculine. He was a man who taught me right from wrong. He taught me how to use my intuition, how to have street smarts, that I needed to be committed to my goals. He also taught me how to be cool. My dad had great style and a kindness that was never mistaken for weakness. One cool thing about my dad was that he had a special affinity for old Chevys - El Caminos, Camaros and trucks. My dad taught me how to turn wrenches. Together we changed starters, alternators, and water pumps. I learned from my dad that a job was never too big as long as we had the right tools – the right tools because he was realistic and he wasn’t going to open a can of worms. He taught me about old Rock N Roll – the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Doors and Jimi Hendrix. He shaped my musical tastes and gave me a healthy list of music that will forever remind me of him. My dad Jesse was the definition of a family man – family was his first love. Everyone who knew us knew of his total commitment to me. My friends would say “Your dad spoils the shit out of you.” They said this because he supported me in all of my endeavors well into my thirties. Whether it was music, surfing, the culinary arts or college, he was there rooting me along. He was my biggest fan. He let me dabble in this so that I could build confidence and he let me experience humility, the humility to be bad at something and then to build confidence as I got better. My dad loved quality time together. Every Sunday when I was young, we would walk around Koby’s swap meet for hours looking at "junk," as he called it. My dad would buy me some random neon skateboard wheel or Garbage Pail Kid card that I wanted, always without judgement. My dad let me be myself. As I got older, the Sunday quality time changed to breakfast and coffee and good conversation. He was a patient and good listener, a skill that he taught me but still one that I work to improve. I treasure the memories of this time we spent together because this was when we got to know each other as men. My dad has had the greatest influence and impact on me than anyone else in my life. My devotion to my own family comes straight from him, from the energy and spirit that gave my dad life. I am now my dad and my children are now me. I love them and I will continue to love them the way he loved me. My dad was the best and I learned from him. I miss him with every cell in my body but he will always be with me. --STEVEN HERNANDEZ
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