As a young man, he immigrated to the United States with hardly any money in his pockets to pursue his American Dream. He survived the hardships and sacrifices of the U.S.-Mexican border along with two of his best friends from the same hometown. Margarito followed his father, Leandro, who came to labor in California as a “bracero” during the WWII labor shortage. Dad’s resiliency in making it to the U.S. meant overcoming struggles of not having any food to eat or a place to sleep at times.
In 1968, Margarito worked at the Hilton Hotel Union Square, where he started in the laundry room and eventually ended a nearly 45-year career as Assistant Pastry Chef – providing deliciousness and sweetness to all his guests and friends. There, he would meet the love of his life, Marlene (Jiron) Guillén. They were married and partnered for nearly 50 years, started a family and raised three boys, David, Abel and Kevin. His love and well-being for his family was his number one priority.
A proud rank-and-file member of UNITE HERE! Local 2, he taught his sons how to work hard, have respect for others, and fight for what they believe in. He was a huge Giant’s fan, even though in the 80’s he at times cheered for the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela. He enjoyed watching Cal Football, soccer, fishing and slicing a tasty watermelon to share with family and friends.
Quick to make friends and sometimes shy, he always lent a helping hand no matter the person's station in life. He led quietly by example, often pulling over on the side of the road to help a fellow motorist in need – just because “it was the right thing to do,” he would say. We will never forget those small kindnesses he showed to complete strangers.
Margarito is also survived by his granddaughter Gabriela, grandson Christian, great-grandkids Isaac, Marcelus and Liliana. Per his wishes, Dad will be cremated, and a celebration of life will be held at a later date when gatherings are allowed.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in his memory be made to the following:
1. Alameda County Community Food Bank;
2. A donation to help Margarito’s wishes to ensure an education fund for his grandkids at Ugift529.com: Gift Code is U1R H65; or
3. If you would like to donate to the family directly for funeral costs please contribute here.
Rest in peace Pop! We will always love you!
- Richard Raya
- Tomas Venegas
- Reynelle Staley
- Cee Belue
- Arnold Chandler
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