Daniel Ochoa

March 26, 1975July 22, 2013

Carlos Daniel Ochoa, 38, our beloved Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Uncle and Friend, entered into eternal rest on Monday, July 22, 2013. Daniel was born in Harlingen, Texas to Maria and Adolfo Ochoa Jr. Left behind to eternally treasure their memories of him are his wife, Susan Ochoa; their daughters, Celeste, Cidney, Chloe and their son Corey; mother Maria Ochoa, father Adolfo Ochoa Jr; brother Adolfo Ochoa III, sister-in-law Tammy Ochoa, niece Brianna Ochoa, and nephew David Ochoa. His mother and father-in-law, James and Charol Stafford and brother-in-law Sidney and sister-in-law Kristi Stafford.

Maria and Adolfo Ochoa Jr moved to Pasadena, TX when Daniel was 1-½ years old. He began playing sports at the age of five, getting involved in T-ball. Daniel discovered early in life his love for competitiveness. He continued to play baseball as the years went by. Then at the age of 7, he was introduced to a new sport, football. Although he was underage and undersized, he begged his parents to play with his older brother Adolfo. Pasadena Recreation League rules were overlooked to allow Daniel to play. On he and Adolfo’s first day of football practice, they were given nicknames because of the difficulty of the coach pronouncing Ochoa. Since 1982, Daniel and Adolfo were referred to as Little “O” and Big “O”. Although Daniel’s first year of playing was uneventful, he didn’t mind, since he was playing with his older brother. As he grew in size and gained more knowledge he soon became an all-star. There were many Pasadena Citizen news articles with his name included for game accomplishments. Daniel continued to play baseball and football into his jr high years at San Jacinto Intermediate, all the while building friendships along the way.

Moving on to Pasadena High School, Daniel started his first year with many familiar faces he competed with in sports. Excelling in academics and football he rejoined his older brother on varsity his junior year. Again Daniel was inserted in a role where he was less experienced and a little undersized. He had the determination and coaches confidence to compete at a varsity level. Daniel started at offensive right tackle, an important position on the line. His drive and competitiveness developed him into a formidable opponent.

Daniel’s senior year left him without his brother but as a returning varsity letterman with more experience, size and strength, helping him play at a higher skill level than his opponents. He became such a valuable player, coaches started him on both sides, offense and defense. He was an offensive tackle and defensive tackle on the line. At the end of his high school football career, Daniel was voted 1st team all-district offensive tackle and 1st team all-district defensive tackle. Daniel was also awarded Houston Chronicle’s Ironman 2-way player of the year. Ending his playing days in high school Daniel moved on to college for academics.

Daniel only spent two years in college and decided to begin working in the barge towing industry. Starting as a crew driver for Coastal Towing, he quickly moved up to crew dispatcher. Placing a young man in charge of many important responsibilities, he began to excel and build a solid reputation within the company. Soon enough he looked for new challenges in a new career. Prior to leaving Coastal Towing, Daniel met Susan Stafford, his future wife. And from that day on, they were inseparable.

In 2000, Daniel and Susan were married and began a family. He quickly started a family and his four children became the center of his life.

Daniel continued to further his career in the fuel industry, allowing his wife to be a stay at home mom and provide for his four beautiful children.

Along his journey through life, Daniel built strong friendships and relationships. Those who knew Daniel can’t help but smile with thought of him.

Daniel left such a powerful impression with his character and personable touch. He will be sorely missed by many family and friends.

Heaven has truly gained an extraordinary individual.

“God took a walk through His garden, He looked at how the flowers abound, As He strolled along the blooms, A special flower he has found.

He reached down His massive Hand, And plucked it from all the rest, He gazed at this special flower, He knew it was the best.”


  • Visitation Monday, July 29, 2013
  • Prayer Service Monday, July 29, 2013
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Daniel Ochoa

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Jeff Griffin

August 8, 2013

My prayers go out to Daniel's family and friends. He was a passionate family man, great friend and all around good person. May our Lord bless and comfort you and your family during this time of grief. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Coolidge Sparks, Jr

August 1, 2013

I will miss Daniel got to know him very well when he worked at NRG Energy. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you, God bless you.

Bob Novinsky

July 30, 2013

I met Dan several years ago when he was at Texas Genco. He had a great spirit about him and we will all miss him.

Rachel Hill

July 30, 2013

I enjoyed the past year I was privileged to work with Daniel at Entergy. He was an always helpful colleague as well as friend. He spoke of his family often and it was evident they were his pride and joy. Susan, Celeste, Cory, Cydney, and Chloe - I will continue to pray God gives you comfort and strength in those lonely days and weeks ahead.

Mindy Watson-Ward

July 30, 2013

I sat beside Daniel for six crazy years, both at Rio Tinto and Cloud Peak Energy. We called each other "cell mates". Working with Daniel was an adventure... We laughed, kvetched, argued politics and shared stories of our families. I miss him everyday. Thank you, Daniel for placing laughter and joy into our lives.

Cloud Peak Energy

Jerry Rodriguez

July 30, 2013

I met Daniel a few years ago, when I was new to the industry. He was always full of energy and excited to talk business. His passion for family, life and career was contagious, and Daniel was often the center of a lively conversation. We lost a great colleague, but more importantly, we lost a better friend. My condolences to the Ochoa family, friends and acquaintances.

Jerry Wess

July 30, 2013

Daniel was a person that you always looked forward to seeing. He always made you laugh, and was a truly genuine and caring person. Our prayers and condolences go out to the entire family. I hope those in heaven enjoy his presence there as much as we did here on Planet Earth!

Ken Peace

July 30, 2013

I became friends with Daniel during our short time together at NRG. I consider myself very lucky to have had that opportunity. He helped me through some difficult times. When I first met Daniel at a NCTA meeting, he really got under my skin. I am happy I did not allow that first impression to keep me from taking the time to get to know him better. Daniel had such a great sense of humor. I always went away from conversations with him in such a great mood and with tears in my eyes from laughing so much. He was so funny. Daniel's passing is a loss to us all. My deepest sympathies to Susan, Daniel's children and his entire family. May your memories hold you through these tough times.

Raul Fuentes

July 30, 2013

Daniel was a great guy and a great friend who helped me get started in the coal business. He had a wonderful attitude and personality and loved his wife and children very much. He will be missed but not forgotten. My prayers and blessings go out to all his family and friends.

Mikki Watson

July 29, 2013

Sending prayers to Daniel's family and friends. He was a wonderful person to have known and a great boss.