William Bruce Gonzalez

5 April, 195113 March, 2021

William “Bill” Gonzalez passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, March 13,2021 at 11:18 pm. Bill was born in Hollywood, CA on April 5, 1951. He is the youngest of 3 children. Bill graduated from Fresno High School in 1969. He was then drafted 2 years later and served a term in Vietnam.

Bill landed his Pepsi career in 1974 where he was an essential part of setting up The Big Fresno Fair, Clovis Rodeo and other Fresno Valley events. This is when Bill found his passion for BBQing/cooking. Bill competed in many cook offs around the Central Valley. He won quite a few ribbons for his mouth watering BBQ ribs. If you have ever eaten his BBQ ribs you would know why he won.

In the 1980’s Bill was the Founder/President of Shaka Vans. A local Fresno van club. The club would gather on weekends for outdoor camping and team competitions throughout California.

Bill was also a co-owner of a local bar here in Fresno where he proudly displayed his ARMY, POW-MIA, Vietnam Veteran flags. Along with San Francisco Giants and 49ers memorabilia.

He also had a 12-year career with BRINKS before he medically retired. With extra time on his hands, he started to volunteer more at the VFW Post 8900. Being the Bill, we all know and love he had to be more than a volunteer. So, he served as a board member for years. He then found his purpose with CVV (Central Valley Veterans). Bill made it his personal goal to help Veterans and their families.

Bill was awarded a numerous number of certificates and awards throughout the years including Veteran of the Year. The Red Cross also presented him with a Volunteer of the Year award.

Bill was very well known by a lot of people from all aspects of life. He always offered a hand up and not a hand out.

He will be deeply missed by everyone he encountered.

A one-of-a-kind man.

Bill is survived by his Life Partner – Mary Espinosa; Daughters – Tracy Gonzalez & Nicole Schaaf; Son & Daughter in Law – Eric & Janie Gonzalez; Proud Papa to 5 grandchildren – Janessa, Jazmine, AJ, JaeLynn, James; and 3 Great Granddaughters – Pooters, Lyza, Tugboat (those were Bill’s nicknames for his girls); Brother & Sister-in-Law – Paul & Connie Gonzalez; Sister – Sylvia Clark; and many nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Gonzalez family.


  • Funeral Service

    Friday, 26 March , 2021


  • Celebration of Bill's Life

    Saturday, 27 March , 2021


William Bruce Gonzalez

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ramon y Helen Ramirez

26 March 2021

March 26 Today we give out thanks to our lord, for blessing us we With the presence of Mr Bill Gonzales in my life So that we could have some best times And not so best time Bill would always say he wanted to buy a motorcycle and ride and he could have But he was smarter than that ( not that we weren't lol) my mom would call Mary and Bill would answer she would say I don't want to talk to you Bill would say why you call me then My Mother liked Bill . I use to ask Bill for tools like trailer edger well Bill am asking good friend when you see my Mother Hug her for the family love Rest In Peace

Vivian Truelove

22 March 2021

Cousin Bill you will always be one of my favorite person. I will miss you. I have fond memories growing up with you from the days playing with you on Tuxford St in Sun Valley to Cambridge St in Fresno. We shared many family vacations growing up from camping to going to Disneyland. I was honor to be in your wedding, fortunate enough to see you go to Viet Nam and return back home in 1 piece. For any reason that brought you to Arizona you always manage to find me. You are at peace now and resting. Go ahead and fly free and be that shinning star up in that sky. I love you Bill!! You are everyone's HERO!!!

Tracy Gonzalez

21 March 2021

I miss our daily phone chats. Your no longer in pain and thats what comforts my ♡. I love so very much. Thank you for being the best dad you knew how to be. You are My Hero ALWAYS! Rest easy daddy! Continue to watch over us.
My Dad, My Hero, My Rock

Raully Mendoza

20 March 2021

Bill..a special person you were to me and Mary were so kind & helpful to those around you..the years I've had the pleasure of knowing you are because how good you treated everyone..thank-u Bill..

Ramon Ramirez

20 March 2021

My friend Bill is my good friend we had a great time at all the events together so many memories I will cherished in my heart the way he gave his time for all others the knock on doors for donation to bring the needs for others. Well I know in my heart that you no longer have to knock on doors for what he has done in this life God will welcome Bill Gonzales without a knock. God Bless Rest In Peace my Friend

Sally/Donald Cardell

20 March 2021

To Sylvia from one of the CSUF sister group. Our condolences to you and your family. May you have peace in your hearts with all your loving memories. I know how much you will miss Bill. May God give you and your family blessings during this difficult time.
Love you , Sally and Donald Cardell

Helen Ramirez

20 March 2021

Bill, I will never forget you. I met you and Mary about 6 years ago. You were a kind person and always went above and beyond for everyone. You always honked as you passed our house. I will miss you my friend, and I know we will see each other again in the kingdom of Heaven.

Yonas Paulos

18 March 2021

I met Bill at the VA in 2015 when I was a volunteer. Then I sat as board member for three years at the American Legion post 509. He did the stand down and stand up for homeless veterans. I love his smile very friendly personality. Always helping families in need doing the food drives. I will truly miss him God bless his soul. I became a homeless veterans advocate because of him for six years now.

Leann Torrey

17 March 2021

RIP my dear friend. You are missed so very much . I know that Jack and I will never be able to fill your shoes but we will do our best.
Love you
Jack and Leann

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