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Jose R. "Sonny" Hernandez

Dec 24, 1942 - Dec 8, 2017
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Jose R. Hernandez entered the world as the 1st born on Christmas eve 1942, to loving parents Jose and Guadalupe Hernandez, of Fairview, Mt. The 1st grandchild to Mr. and Mrs. Magdaleno "Mike" Hernandez. Jose (AKA Joe or Sonny) moved with his family to Washington in early 1943. As the son of a migrant farm family, Joe worked hard in the fields as a child, loved playing football, and managed to finish his schooling. The eldest of a generation of Primos and Hermanos who called the Northwest home.

In 1957, after the family worked the Golden Gate Ranch, Grandpa "Mike" purchased his own ranch in Satus. As the eldest, Sonny, through hard work in the fields, resilience and dedication, emerged a leader in the ever-growing Hernandez family; building a foundation that would define not only his life but the lives of many in his family.
Sonny had impeccable style, he was always in a suit and tie and often in a stylish hat. He believed that if you look good, you feel good. He also had a wicked sense of humor with a penchant for cracking classic one liners. Combine that with his stylish baby blue 1962 impala, he was like “the Fonz” rolling through the lower valley.
Jose first met his love, Lupe Gonzales, in 1962. However, he didn’t court her until late summer 1964. He knew he met the woman who would be his rock and love, until he took his final breath. Sonny and Lupe married on August 1, 1965 in Toppenish, WA. Shortly after, Sonny left the ranch. It was a difficult decision, but as he put it “necessary to shoulder a better life for his next generation” and it did.
Sonny and Lupe had two children, Kathleen and Anthony. They started their family life in Toppenish and settled in Yakima. “Sonny Bono” worked hard and was dedicated to everything he did, most memorably his office supervisory position at WA Department of Licensing. The loving father ALWAYS made time for his kids. After a long day, He always found the time to play, wrestle and collect fall leaves for them to jump into. He was very involved, helping in their sports and other activities. Kathleen and Anthony remember a fantastic upbringing of adventures, joyous celebrations, and memorable cruises with their father. Sundays at “the ranch” with all the family was a fixture on their calendar.
Sonny was also a father figure to his brothers. He was always looking out for them, and opening his home to them and all his family. He started the fascination for classic cars that became a trademark for the Hernandez boys. He was an imposing figure, with a powerful build, and in a family of alpha males-he was the unquestioned leader. He garnered every bit of respect, admiration and love from his brothers and sister.
He was an intimidating figure, but he was a big teddy bear to those he loved. A respectful and loving man, he spent much of his retirement years helping his elderly family members and traveling back and forth to California visiting his grandchildren.
He loved his Grandkids and purchased a timeshare to make trips to see them wherever they were. His relationship with his only local grandkid, Morgan, was iconic.  Wherever you saw Sonny-You saw Morgan. He taught his grandkids that learning was cool, how to drive, challenged them to eating contests, passed on his love for music, poked fun, and gave unconditional love and support. He even learned German at an old age to be a great example for his grandkids.
Jose R. Hernandez is survived by his wife Lupe Hernandez, his son, Anthony Hernandez (Nikki), and daughter, Kathleen Staples (Russ). His grandchildren, Morgan, Toni Alexis, Kristin, Sophia, Hannah, Katrielle, and Anthony. He is also survived by brothers; Ray Hernandez, Paul Hernandez, Chris Hernandez, and Ricardo Hernandez. He was preceded in death by his parents Jose and Guadalupe, his brother's Samuel C. Hernandez and Robert C. Hernandez, and sister Beatrice Hernandez-Weddle. 
A viewing will take place on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at Brookside Funeral Home (500 W Prospect Pl., Moxee, WA 98936) from 1:00 to 6:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, December 15, 2017 at 10:30 am at Holy Family Catholic Church (5315 Tieton Dr., Yakima, WA 98908). 

Funeral Information

Funeral service

Dec 15, 2017:10:30 am

Holy Family Catholic Church