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Jesse L. Barajas

July 29, 1928 ~ October 20, 2018 (age 90)

Jesse Luna Barajas, 90 years old, passed away Saturday, October, 20, 2018 at Citrus Valley Hospice in West Covina, CA.  He was born on July 29, 1928 in Azusa, CA to Ysidro and Mercedes (Luna) Barajas. He started working as a young boy which included picking oranges, strawberries and cotton in the fields alongside his parents and siblings. At the same time, he managed to go to Catholic School for a few years and completed up to an 11th grade education.  In early August 1949 Jesse eloped with his sweetheart Rose Mendoza and went on to marry her at St. Frances of Rome Church on September 25, 1949.  A year later he was called to active duty while in the Army National Guard and proudly served his country in the Korean War.  He left behind his wife Rose and young infant daughter Christina to serve in the war. He returned in 1952 and went on to have four more children with Rose, three sons and one daughter.  Jesse was a dedicated provider for his family and so began working at Aerojet Electro Systems in Azusa as a janitor.  He worked his way up to a radiation tech, and ultimately as an aerospace quality control engineer.  He also managed to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain a college degree through a program at work and got his Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Redlands in 1982.  At Aerojet he was well respected and made significant contributions on various projects. He worked a total of 40 years there before retiring in 1992.   In his personal life, Jesse engaged in multiple activities including traveling to different countries and camping at favorite locations like Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park with his family. At St. Frances of Rome Church he continued to remain active as a Eucharistic Minister, Treasurer on the Parish Council, and a CCD teacher.  He was instrumental in starting the annual St. Frances of Rome Church fiesta and the St. Frances of Rome food bank. He also was an ESL teacher at the adult school in Azusa for 6 years. He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years Rose, five children Christina, David, Andrew, Vincent, and Rosalinda (Timothy); one grandson Alexander and one granddaughter Sierra; three brothers Emilio, Louie (Carmen) and Arthur (Linda), and many nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Manuel and sister Mary.  Family, friends, and others whose lives were touched by Jesse are invited to the Rosary and Vigil Sunday October 28, 2018 at White’s Funeral Home from 2-5pm.  The funeral mass will be held Monday, October 29, 2018 at 9:00am at St. Frances of Rome Church.  Burial will occur at Riverside National Cemetery from 12:45pm-1:15pm.

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