Louis Gonzales Jr, age 86, passed away peacefully on February 17, 2021, five weeks after his beloved wife, Ursula, had passed away. He was born in Roswell, New Mexico to the late Louis Gonzales and Manuela Herrera. Lou lived between Roswell and Auburn, California, graduating from high school in Roswell. He then attended the University of New Mexico for two years and Montana State for a year and a half while also serving in the Army National Guard and working for the Forestry Department. Before graduating, Lou was drafted into the US Army.
In one of his first military postings in Germany, he found his soulmate at a gasthaus in Germany. It was there that he met Ursula Anna Goth in a “love at first sight” encounter. After seeing Uschi dancing with her friend, his first words to his friends were “that little one is mine.” While love at first sight is instantaneous, protocols are not. After a yearlong courtship, seven months of paperwork and with approval of her mother on July 17, 1958, they were married in a civil ceremony in Langendiebach, Germany and later (at her mother’s insistence) in a church ceremony in Fleigerhorst Kaserne, Germany.
Lou’s Army career took his family to many adventures across the United States and Europe. He climbed the ranks rapidly in the Army, retiring as a Sergeant First Class, giving up a promotion to Master Sergeant in order to experience life in corporate America. After retiring with 20 years in service, he and his family moved from Germany to California but soon after found his long-time home in Colorado Springs. In his post-military career, Lou continued to pursue education vigorously, attaining a Bachelor of Science degree from Regis University in Denver. He worked at Ford Aerospace, Digital, and Raytheon for over 20 years before finally retiring again to spend more time with his beloved wife and his family.
Lou had many roles—son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He went by Louis, Lou, Louie, Dad, Opa, and Sergeant First Class—and was known for his quiet strength and integrity. Lou had a deep love for his family and also a lighter side that he shared with those close to him. Many are aware of the quiet pride he had for his 20-year distinguished military career, serving many years overseas in both Germany and with several combat tours in Vietnam. Lou was proud to be an American and was a student of both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, keeping well-worn copies close at hand in his office. Fewer are aware of his voracious appetite for reading about historical events and his love for fiction novels, sci-fi movies, action thrillers, and bad movies with his son-in-law. Even fewer are aware that he lettered in track each of his two years at the University of New Mexico and was a talented singer there. Later in life, he became a true Falcon football fan and a devote supporter of his grandkids and their activities. Lou was the epitome of a gentleman with a kind soul; even saying “Thank You” to every medical staff that left his room. He loved his family deeply and we and his friends will miss him greatly. We know he stayed strong to care for his wife till the end and that gives us peace to know he is happy.
Lou is survived by his daughter Cordula (Corry), son-in-law Dave Schreck, granddaughter Katie and her husband Alex Tardieu, grandson Eric Schreck and his wife Shelly, great-granddaughter Charlie Kate and his sisters Mary Helen, Elizabeth and Linda of California. He is predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Ursula, his mother and father, son Louis III and his sisters Christine and Alice.
We greatly appreciate the care, empathy and consideration provided by the staff at the Veterans Administration (PA Lynne and nurse Kathy) and at Dr Matthews-Vu (PA Megan and nurse Nora).
A memorial graveside service with military honors will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs on April 30, 2021 with Chaplain Nathan Warn as the officiant.
If you wish, a donation in memory of Lou. There are two charities important to him:
Cystic Fibrosis Charlie Kate Campaign: Make checks out to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Charlie Kate Campaign in the Memo). 5830 Northwest Expressway, Box 238, Oklahoma City, OK 73132
Disabled American Veterans organization by mail at DAV—Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or online at www.dav.org/donate.