OBITUARY

Henry Charles Gutierrez

January 27, 1958April 25, 2018

Henry Charles Gutierrez reunited with his parents, Henry and Ramona, on April 25, 2018.

He was born on January 27, 1958. He attended Sacred Heart Elementary School (Class of ‘72) then went on to San Joaquin Memorial High School (Class of ‘76). Though he attended Fresno State with a major in photojournalism and worked at Technicolor for a brief time, his heart stayed at Memorial. For 40-plus years, 24 as a staff member, Henry worked with students and teachers as a multimedia consultant. He taught photography, videography, and computer science. He worked with students on the SJM yearbook, as class moderator, as a photography club moderator, and a Block M advisor. He attended a myriad of SJM athletic, academic, and artistic events, capturing the small and large moments with his many cameras. He could be seen with at least two cameras at every event. He continued to support his students by championing their endeavors after graduation, attending various conferences and art festivals. He was often seen at most Fresno Starbucks cafes working on his most recent photos or videos of SJM-related events while drinking his venti iced green tea. His dedication to stay in touch with family, friends, and colleagues was evident in his face-to-face interactions and social media presence. The family appreciates the numerous cards, phone calls, and social media posts from those who lives Henry impacted, no matter how great or small.

As much as Henry loved Memorial, he deeply loved and cared for his family. Henry came from a very large family, with cousins in his class at Sacred Heart and Memorial. For Henry, family centered on two things: sports and holidays.

Growing up, Henry loved sports, especially track and field. The best experiences were outside of school sports, when he attended the West Coast Relays with his dad and uncles at Ratcliffe Stadium early each May. These were followed by treks to the Modesto Relays to see the the athletes preparing for the Olympics. He attended the Summer Olympic Games twice, the first time in 1976 in Montreal with Uncle Richard and then in 1984 in Los Angeles with his mother and sister, Esther.

Family holidays were as memorable as the sporting events. From the yearly Thanksgiving lunch at the Lango Ranch to the occasional family trips to the beach and the lake to the massive Garcia (Gutierrez) “La Familia” reunion held every four years, Henry was there, camera around neck, to capture those precious family moments. One holiday tradition stands out above the rest: tamale-making the Sunday before Christmas at the house. Henry was in charge of mixing the masa for the hundreds of tamales the family would make that day, even when he fell off the roof trying to get the neighbor’s peacock down.

Henry had his share of health concerns, dealing with kidney failure in 1995 and his kidney transplant in 2002. He had two major back surgeries, one which left him in the hospital for 3 months-Christmas, New Year’s, his birthday, and Valentine’s Day. In 2015, his kidney failed and Henry was faced with a second round of dialysis while waiting for a second transplant, as well as recently diagnosed cardiac issues. Through all of the obstacles and successes, Henry remained steadfast in his faith and hope that things would work out.

Henry is preceded in death by his grandparents, Enrique and Carlota Gutierrez and Valentin and Mary Lango, his parents, Henry and Ramona Gutierrez, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Henry is survived by his sister, Esther Gutierrez, sister Chris and her husband, Jerry Abercrombie, nieces Brinkley, Lindsey, and Mackenzie, and brother Peter Gutierrez and his wife, Michelle, nephew Grant, his two cats, YC and Mr. Fatty, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Friday, May 25, at 7PM. A Memorial Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Saturday, May 26, at 10AM. A Celebration of Life (aka Henry’s Roast) will be held immediately following mass.

The family would like to thank the many doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and friends who were there for him throughout his medical ups and downs. The family would also like to thank the many family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who provided him with much needed, though probably unintentional, comic relief.

Henry took to heart the mantra, “Once a Panther, always a Panther.” He also raised awareness in organ donor registration. In his name, remembrances may be made to the SJM Angels Fund (General Scholarship Fund) ℅ Lucy Meyers, 1406 N Fresno Street, Fresno, CA, 93703 or email contact, lmyers@sjmhs.org or the National Kidney Foundation at kidney.org.

Services

  • Recitation of the Holy Rosary

    Friday, May 25, 2018

  • Memorial Mass

    Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memories

Henry Charles Gutierrez

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Hector Meza

May 26, 2018

Pete, God Bless him. He gave it his best and was strong mind & will ... All i have are "words" to comfort you - I wish there was more i can do...!

Loved your Mother - She tought all of you to get going in life ... May God bless you and your entire family. From Both Terry and I - we send our Love.

Hector

Laura Lambright

May 13, 2018

He did photo for my class,s 10 year reunion In 1987.

Msgr Perry Kavookjian

May 4, 2018

I have fond memories of Henry: his laugh, funny sense of humor, kindness and commitment to SJM. Long after graduating, he remained a familiar face on campus--the one person who kept me connected to my alma mater. I was happy to see him on occasion and he never seemed to change--the same look, the same laugh, the same love of SJM. I will truly miss him and send my prayers to his family during this time.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY