Passed Away On: November 20, 2022
April 6, 1943-November 18, 2022
Gilberto Perez Ortega age 79, of Hollister, California passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on November 18, 2022.
He lost his year-long battle with brain cancer. If determination could have cured his cancer , he definitely would have won. He was born on April 6, 1943 to Gustavo and Rosalia Perez Ortega in Chihuahua, Mexico. He was the oldest of 12 children.
Gilberto moved to the United States at the age of 19. He started working at City TV in Gilroy. While working there, he met the love of his life, Mary Catherine Lopez. They were married in 1968 and had two daughters, Anna Marie Perez Leija (Anthony) and Michelle Perez. In 1974 he bought Crystal TV. It was located on San Benito Street in Hollister. In 1987 he added a Radio Shack franchise to his brand. He sold many people in Hollister their first computers.
After the earthquake in 1987, and the fire in downtown Hollister in 1991, he moved to the Kmart shopping center. Once he acquired the Radio Shack, his life began to flourish. He began taking English and business classes at Gavilan College. His Radio Shack won many awards every year for 18 years. In 1993 they received the Pinnacle Award, which is the biggest award given by Radio Shack for the best overall store of all the Western states.
In 2000 they opened their second store with great success. Radio Shack sponsored many of their adventures around the world. They went to Australia, Europe, Costa Rica, Hawaii and many other exciting places.
Gilberto and Mary felt that their biggest accomplishment has been their two daughters. Gilberto was so proud that his daughter Anna was the first grandchild in the family to graduate from college and Michelle purchased her first house at age 25.
He valued education, his faith in God, family, and hard work. He made sure to pass on those values to his 3 beloved grand-children, Arianna Leija, Andres Jaurigue, and Aidan Leija. They meant everything to him and Mary. They went
to soccer games, BMX races and everything else in between. Their favorite part of retirement was caring for their grandchildren together when they were little. Papa loved teaching them how to golf and ride bikes. He had a unique relationship with each grandchild, and made each feel as if they were the favorite.
Gilberto was very civic minded. He believed in building relationships that furthered his sense of community. He was an active member of the Lion’s Club and served as a board member, a 4-H Electricity Leader, Boy Scout Troop 476 Leader, President of the Mexican Baseball League (Liga Obrera), and the Elk’s Lodge. Both Gilberto and Mary have been members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Mexican American Committee on Education (MACE), and were citizens of the year in 1981. They have also been the sponsors for little league, soccer, bowling, basketball, softball, football, car races, skating leagues and beauty queen contests.
When Gilberto was a child, he believed hobbies were for rich people, because he had always worked to help the family. He felt fortunate that with the success of his businesses, he was able to snow ski with his family, waterski, golf and travel while in retirement. Every summer they would drive to Chihuahua, Mexico to spend time with his family. In April of 2022, Gilberto was able to celebrate his 79th birthday with his brothers and sisters in Chihuahua.
Gilberto is survived by his 11 brothers and sisters: Enrique (Maria)-Ciudad Juarez, Isaias (Eva)-Hollister, Ca, Ruben-Cuernavaca, Jorge (Lucila)-Cuernavaca, Juan (Rosario)-Chihuahua, Dora Lilia Sias (Ricardo)-Chihuahua, Victor (Mirelle)-Chihuahua, Rosalia-Chihuahua, Rosa Emma-Chihuahua, Rene (Martha)-Chihuahua and Javier (Rebeca)-Chihuahua.