Glen Abbey Memorial Park & Mortuary

3838 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA


Basilio "Leo" Gatus

June 14, 1932May 11, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

Fair Winds and Following Seas … Our beloved Basilio “Leo” Gatus passed on May 11th 2020 at the age of 87 years. Born on June 14th 1932 in San Dionisio, Parañaque, Philippines. The son of a fisherman from a tiny fishing village, he had an early love for the sea and dreams of what lies beyond. He followed those dreams and joined the U.S. Navy in 1955, retiring in San Diego as a Mess Specialist Chief after 24 years of outstanding service to his country. He continued to serve the Navy and his shipmates after retirement, starting a business partnership in 1979 that pioneered sales to mess and galleys throughout the military. He stayed self-employed, then eventually semi-retired, but also had other passions outside of entrepreneurship.

He continued his love affair with the sea, at times taking off work on Fridays and fishing all day charter boats off Point Loma. His culinary skills were always on display cooking for family dinners or special gatherings. Quiet evenings would be spent sipping wine, listening to Sinatra or Miles Davis. Not so quiet evenings would be boxing fight nights, trading blows with the TV from the comfort of his easy chair. With his wife as his travel partner he continued to traverse the globe, but always returned to that tiny fishing village of his birth that he really never left. The early lessons of faith, family, and determination stayed with him, as did his obligation to give back to his village, community, and church. His extended family in the Philippines, the San Diego Parañaque association, and the Fil-Am and Knights of Columbus of Santa Sophia Church all were dear to his heart.

Of his many passions, his greatest were his love for God, his wife, his children, and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Rosalina, his children, Willy and his wife Eva, Melissa, and Cecilia and her husband Paul, and the grandchildren he lovingly doted over, Angel, Austin, Katie, and Aimee. Our family nicknamed him and called him “Champ” for a reason. He was our hero, our family’s guiding light, who will always be with us, but now shines upon us and guides us from above.

We love you Champ.


  • In lieu of flowers, please send cards/letters with thoughts or memories of Leo or donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are appreciated. Thank you.
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


25 May

Ocean View Processional Tribute

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Glen Abbey Memorial Park

3838 Bonita Road
Bonita, California 91902

Processional (Drive-Thru) Viewing. During these trying times we can’t lose sight of honoring the precious life of our loved ones. Please join us in honoring Leo. Follow the Processional Viewing Tribute signs and pay your final respects to your loved one from the comfort and safety of your car.
26 May

Funeral Service

8:00 am - 11:30 am

Glen Abbey's Little Chapel of the Roses

3838 Bonita Road
Bonita, California 91902

Due to Covid19, this is a private event for immediate family only
26 May

Committal Service

1:00 pm

Miramar National Cemetery

5795 Nobel Drive
San Diego, California 92122

Due to Covid19, this is a private event for immediate family only


Basilio "Leo" Gatus

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jhonie and Nelda Rebucas

May 24, 2020

Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with you and your love ones. May he Rest In Peace.

From The Rebucas and Vintayen Family

Scott Stell

May 24, 2020

I never called him Leo. It was always Mr. Gatus. It was a sign of respect for a man who deserved it. I got to know him and his family well while dating one of his daughters for many years. He always welcomed me and made me feel at home. When I decided to chase a dream of becoming an Air Force Pilot, he was one of my most encouraging figures. He knew first hand the sacrifices I would make in doing so yet could also understand my desire to serve. He knew it was a calling and gently pushed me toward my dream. I will always be grateful to him for that among many other things. Rest In Peace Sir.

Bobby Palacios

May 23, 2020

My Dearest Kuya,

Our cherished memories will not fade and will forever live in my heart. You are a caring, helpful, tender and peaceful person. I'm so
blessed to be your brother in law.
My love remains forever.
Farewell. Rest in perfect peace.


Helen Palacios

May 23, 2020

Dearest Kuya,
Thank you so much for the love and kindness you gave to us. I remember on our first visit to San Diego in 1988, you welcomed us to your home with open arms, you drove us around the city, the theme parks and the outlet malls (your favorite destination) with enthusiasm. You were also a good cook and always voluntered to cook our lunch or dinner during family reunions and our trips together. We miss you so much. Rest in Peace Kuya.

Love and prayers,

Luz Palacios Benigno

May 23, 2020

My brother in law whom I called "Kuyang" (older brother in Filipino) was the epitome of kindness and generosity. To him, everyone has good qualities. He never spoke ill of people.
He lived a long and meaningful life, upholding the virtues of faith in the Lord, charity towards others, loyalty to his country and his Filipino roots and tremendous love and pride in his family.
My family - my son Marc n daughter in law Kristine n my 6 month old grandson Theo -salute the life well lived by a man whom we love, respect and admire. We will miss you.

Eduardo Bautista

May 23, 2020

To Ka Inday and Family
When our heart is empty , filling it with happy memories can help you find a smile 😇.
I’ve come to know Ka Base when our ship USS Carpenter ( DD 825) came to San Diego for a quick stop . One of my subordinates informed me that a salesman wanted to come aboard . The salesman introduced himself right away . After a short while I heard his accent and found out that we are both from Paranaque .
Ka Base is also a great story teller . Every Sunday , after Mass Ka Base and Ka Inday joined us for a brief coffee break at Starbucks . Those were happy times because jokes and anecdotes were exchanged .
He loved boxing especially Pacquiao so we invited them twice to our house to watch boxing .
Finally , Ka Inday , we hope you remember you have friends who will listen and care . We’re one of them . We cannot take away your pain but we can listen if you want to talk about it .
Eddie & Naty

Michael & Brigitte Michalle

May 22, 2020

Sending our deepest condolences to the Gatus family.
We had the great pleasure of meeting Leo and his lovely family on their visit to Spain to celebrate the marriage of his beloved Cecilia to our brother Paul.
From the minute we met we fell in love with his easy going manner, naughty sense of humour and zest for life.
You could tell from him how much he adored his family and how tremendously proud he was of them.
Cecilia it breaks our hearts that you cannot be with your family in your time of sorrow.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and our extended Gatus family. xxxx

Stan and Adrienne Cohen

May 21, 2020

Dear Leo, you will always be a Bright Star in the family, which we are honored to be a part of. Thank you for making our memories so special and unforgettable. You were a brilliant man with a thirst for learning more about everything. Your love and devotion to the family is so admirable, and you always had a knack of making everyone feel special. You were a wonderful example of how people should be!
Our beautiful memories will always keep you alive in our hearts.
With love, Stan and Adrienne

Angela Elliott

May 21, 2020

Dearest Gatus Family, our most sincere condolences. We hope you find some consolation as he is now with our Father.
After spending time on several occasions with dear Leo, his warmth and kindness wasn’t made unnoticed.

May he rest in peace and may the perpetual light shine always on him.


Joanna Scott-leith ( lucas)

May 21, 2020

My deepest sympathy to my extended family, may our lord comfort you all in this difficult time. I had the privilege of meeting Basilio when he came to spain for my brother and Cecilia's wedding. A gentle happy soul, who very much enjoyed life and loved his family. My prayer our with you Cecilia as this is especially hard for you to be separated from your family.

May he rest in God peace.

All our love
Joanna and Jay


Learn more about the Gatus name