Love for Felipe's Family

On May 7, 2016, Felipe Guzman suddenly passed away of a heart attack; he was only 44 years old.

Felipe was a lover—he just exuded so much love, all the time, every day, for everyone. A big part of that love is the love he shared for his wife Erica and their children, Kiara and Mateo. His heart began with them and then just burst forth for everyone else. He was adored by his parents, siblings, cousins, co-workers—the man made friends everywhere he went. Felipe was a good, kind and decent man. He was funny, bright, crass and silly. He was mischievous, sweet and so, so big-hearted.

Felipe was an overgrown kid. He loved Star Wars. Actually, he lived and breathed Star Wars. His office walls and home are adorned in Star Wars memorabilia. One of the best pictures of him, ever (and there are many), is to see his delighted grin while standing alongside some Storm Troopers with his family in tow. He and Erica and the kids made regular pilgrimages to Disneyland so he could indulge in his love of that special galaxy far, far away.

Felipe was also very strong; an emotional rock. For the last few years, his beautiful wife Erica has been fighting cancer. Every step of the way, Felipe has been there, supporting her, picking her up, carrying the burden and just making sure Erica has everything she needs to carry on. During this last bout of cancer, when she was told she only had a year to live, Felipe kicked his care into high gear, arranging the big stuff, like once-in-a-lifetime trips and cruises and the small stuff like doctor’s appointments and her medication schedule. He has always done everything in his power to create as many great moments as possible to keep her in his and the kids’ lives. He was so kind and gracious in his attention to her. Erica attributes her survival to the sheer force of willpower and love that Felipe demonstrated. His energy and life were absolutely bound up in keeping Erica in this world, mothering her children and sharing her special voice.

Felipe viewed Kiara and Mateo as the gifts they are. When Erica was still young, it was expected that she would never bear children. Somehow, love conquered and their family was completed, a matched set of clever, funny kids to match their clever, funny parents. The beauty of Erica and Felipe’s life together was the acknowledgment that there are challenges, but somehow, one by one, they faced them together. They made lemonade—fizzy, sparkling, and with a touch of sass—out of the many lemons life offered.

Of course, Felipe wasn’t perfect. His laugh could send you into spasms and he had the gift of laughing when you were trying to be serious. And he loved to eat his steaks and burgers basically burnt, which was appalling. He loved a good piece of gossip and could dish like an old hen, but had the knack for not being mean or bitter. You always knew when he was coming around the corner or down the hall, because he could be heard really interacting with people, always sharing his humor and his genuine interest in everybody’s lives. He always, always noticed if something was off or if you weren’t feeling well or having a bad day. And inevitably, he had a kind word or look that said he understood, that he cared, that he empathized. He was truly stellar and just an all-around special guy. 

Erica has held on through the pain of cancer—because she’s a badass and because Kiara and Mateo need her—and because Felipe’s love carried the day. His love buoyed her spirit and gave her the strength to stick with it and always with the goal to achieve one more day with the kids. And now, they need her even more, because the thing that is truly unthinkable and unimaginable has happened. Felipe is gone and although his love is still there, enveloping their lives, it is up to us to help carry this new burden.

We’re asking for your help because the only way we are going to see the Guzmans pull through and see that Kiara and Mateo have something to hold onto, is by everyone pitching in to support Erica. Yes, we hope you will contribute money—to cover burial costs and some immediate needs—but along with that, we hope you can be emotionally supportive in practical ways.

There is no easy way to comprehend this tragic loss, except to say that maybe his heart was so expansive, so grand—the world could no longer contain it. The Force was strong in this one.

Felipe, you are loved. You will be missed. Your love will live on, as will your smiles, your laughter and your big, crazy heart.

Thank you to everyone who is able to contribute. Our goal is to cover the costs of cremation, to help build a financial buffer for the family and lastly, to create the beginnings of a trust fund for Kiara and Mateo, to see them through college and help launch their lives from the great foundation Felipe and Erica have started. We can all step in and be uncles and aunties and fairy godparents to these beautiful kids who have suffered through so much uncertainty over these last few years and now are living through an unbelievable loss.

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 17 mos
  • Tommy Sotomayor 
    • $300 
    • 17 mos
  • Barbara Plaisance 
    • $20 
    • 19 mos
  • Cesar Aguilera 
    • $20 
    • 42 mos
  • Wayne & Tatiana Mayhew 
    • $150 
    • 45 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Jillian Mosley 
San Pablo, CA
Erica Guzman 
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