Jim Phillip Sanchez

May 1, 1926May 12, 2018
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Jim P. Sanchez, 92, born on May 1, 1926, in Bakersfield, CA, passed away peacefully at home on May 12, 2018. Jim was born to Theodosia (TO) Contreras and John Sanchez and was one of twelve siblings. Jim grew up in Bakersfield, where he attended school. Unable to complete his education, Jim assumed the role of a father figure and helped his mother support and raise his younger siblings. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in late 1944 and had the honor of serving in WWII. He went on to marry the love of his life and remained happily married for 73 years. After serving his country, Jim had several successful businesses and served the community of Bakersfield in many ways. He opened his first business, S & S Body Works with some of his brothers and later went on to open The Matador Bar on Baker Street. Jim then went on to work for the county for over 20 years. Jim built his own home in 1968, where he raised his family along with several foster children. He organized and was the co-founder of the first Menudo Cook-Off in Kern County. Jim helped design and rebuild the San Clemente Mission Church and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal in 1999 for his devotion to his parish and Catholic faith. In 2012, he was on the very first Kern County Honor Flight where he visited the WWII Monument. Jim's most cherished times were spent with family around the kitchen table. He recently celebrated his 92nd birthday surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He had a deep love for his family and was a true man of strength, dignity, integrity, and faith. He will be greatly missed. Jim is survived by his wife Charmaine Sanchez, daughter Hope Serrano and son-in-law Cisco Serrano, daughter Sally Ledesma, daughter Maddy Villanueva and son-in-law Cep Villanueva, son Rodney Gardea, foster son Rudy Magana and his wife Janie Magana, grandchildren David Hernandez, Sonja Lazzara, James Ledesma, David Godinez, Kathy Godinez, Marky Gardea, Freddy Gonzalez, Julio Gonzalez, Niko Gonzalez and Julia Gonzalez, eleven great-grandchildren, and countless foster children. He is preceded in death by his daughter Charmaine Gonzalez. Visitation will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary, (9101 Kern Canyon Rd, Bakersfield, Ca 93306), on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, from 5:00pm-9:00pm, with Recitation of the Holy Rosary from 6:30-7:00pm. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, (900 H. Street, Bakersfield, Ca 93304), on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 10:00am with Committal Service and Military Honors from 11:15-12:00pm at Historic Union Cemetery, (730 Potomac Avenue, Bakersfield, Ca. 93307). Pallbearers include Rodney Gardea, David Hernandez, James Ledesma, Marky Gardea, David Godinez, Freddy Gonzalez, Julio Gonzalez, and Niko Gonzalez. Honorary pallbearer will be Rudy Magana. The family expresses our sincere gratitude to Hoffman Hospice for the care they provided at this difficult time


  • Rodney Gardea
  • David Hernandez
  • James Ledesma
  • Marky Gardea
  • David Godinez
  • Freddy Gonzalez
  • Juilo Gonzalez
  • Niko Gonzalez


  • Visitation Tuesday, May 29, 2018
  • Recitation of the Holy Rosary Tuesday, May 29, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Wednesday, May 30, 2018
  • Committal Service and Military Honors Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jim Phillip Sanchez

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Sarah Hernandez

September 6, 2018

it’s been four months and I still can’t believe your gone. I think about you all the time. Grandma is doing better. She misses you. The love of her life. We all miss you. The one who taught us what love is.

Shelby Hernandez

July 8, 2018

It’s not everyday at the age of 14 you have your great grandpa. I can not say enough how proud I am of you, I can only hope you were proud of me. Your smile, voice and laughter were the things I looked forward to the most. Having your love was the greatest gift I could ever ask for. I’ll miss bringing you frostys from Wendy’s and hearing your stories about the War. I love you grandpa more than you’ll ever know, you will always be my best friend.

Rod Gardea

May 16, 2018

I know the final years were tough. I felt you frustration along with you everyday. Dad there are no words that can explain the void in me. I can only wonder if you were proud of me. Ill never know.
Dad I tried to honor you. I made many mistakes and I hope you can forgive me.
Dad I will take care of mom like you told me . I will not fail you .