Letter to my Friend and Mentor, Jose 'Tony' Gonzalez... RIP


New member

I will miss you more than you will ever know my friend. I will miss your smile, work ethic, and most importantly your friendship. You showed me how important my family really is, and how important friendship is. You showed me the value of family, and to not judge others for their past.

You took me under your wing when Mike brought me into the machine shop as his friend who had a Mechanical Engineering degree but wanted to become a machinist as I didn't wanna be a desk jockey, but knew nothing about machine shops. You saw my potential, and you stayed after hours to help me learn the manual machining process for years. You shared your knowledge, and tools (until I could get my own) to succeed in the trade. When you saw me ready (as to be a good CNC guy you gotta understand manual tool movement) you taught me how to setup CNC machines. fixturing, and I become a CNC operator. Knowing I am not good with computers you taught me the setup process and code commands to set me up for success despite not knowing programing. When I had to leave the shop due to downsizing, you had given me the skills and knowhow, to succeed in my new job as a 3d metal printer senior operator. I will be forever grateful.

You gave me advise as I did you. You came to me when your young son (and my friend as well) got his GF pregnant outa wedlock, and we talked for hours about it after hours, and you cried in my arms, and I convinced you it was ok, despite what the church said. Unknown to you, your son had come to me on how to approach you about it as he knew you would be upset, so I knew both sides. You were gonna kick your son outa the house, but I talked to you, and told you I'm sure you wished you woulda had your parents support in your time of need like your son needed... so he supported his son, his now wife, and loved his grandson, then a second grandson a few years later

You are in Heaven now, flying higher than the satellites we made for Boeing. Higher than the parts you made for the international space station that are still in use. Flying higher than the Falcon 9 rocket engine parts we made for SpaceX to make their first successful launch into space, to where they are now... You are my hero. And I couldn't be where I am now without you sir. I am FOREVER grateful....

I know you were being safe as possible, But I wish I could have convinced you to get the Covid-19 vac. You had several health scares over the years, and you made it thru... but this one... was different. I begged you to get the Vac, but you were scared... you asked me how it was, if I or our family had side effects. You asked me about the 2nd shot, you came to my house to talk about it... that was the last I heard from you....

You caught Covid..

I txted and called you, you were on a ventilator unknown to me with no replys, fighting to live for your family. I texed you after 2 more weeks not hearing from you saying "hola grumpy dude".... then I got a txt from you next day at 3AM, but it was your loving wife, Rosa of 34 years,.... not you. She said you had passed, your heart had given out due to fighting Covid, and they could no longer revive you.... and to call your son in the morning for details (as Rosa speaks limited english, but didnt wanna use wrong words)

I had to see your body today, to celebrate your life, see your kids and grandkids, and saw your wife hold it together... until she saw me then we both fell into eachothers arms in tears for what felt like forever. I couldn't stop crying the entire service, catching peaks of your face in that wooden box. I couldn't stay after as the tears would not stop. Sat in my truck you told me to buy, with the spare tire you gave me as it didnt have one, with the stock wheels you helped me buy as I didnt want the 24" rims that were on the truck as it was to 'mexican style" you said.. and cried like a baby. I will miss you my forever friend...

Other than immediate family and a long term ex-gf, you are the only person I have ever said I loved, and still do sir, and always will. I love you my friend...

Jose A "Tony" Gonzalez
May 10, 1966- Sept 7, 2021


I'm an American, and I remember
Staff member
RC Mod
I am sorry for your loss, it's obvious that it's a very big loss. He's in a better place.


professional snow flake
Very sorry for your loss. It’s was great to read how he impacted your life and made a difference to me that makes one special.


New member
I started to respond to you privately, but thought ALL should see my response. I too lost my coral mentor to COVID. Hernan Chavez (unvaccinated)was a wonderful person and I will miss him dearly. I have expressed my support for the vaccines to family and friends.

My 38 year old son Scott got his vaccination 3 1/2 months ago. Scott died 1 1/2 months ago. It takes 2-3 months for results to id cause of death, so we don't know why yet. Scott fought an addiction problem for 10 years. He was clean and sober for the last 3 1/2 years and getting his life back. I spoke with him before he went to bed the night he died, he was fine. His roommate found him blue, unresponsive on floor and unable to resuscitate. No signs of drugs. Medics said looked like heart attack. I STILL SUPPORT THE VACCINE, but it's not for everyone.

Sincerely and with love
Dan Ponchak

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New member
I am sorry for your loss. Your best friend is no longer suffering from the ventilator with a tube down his throat. He is in a happy place and is watching over his family and yours.

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Active member
Very sorry for your loss. Your friend was a wonderful person. His legacy lives through you now.

I hope everyone go get vaccinated to protect your own family and friends from going through the same experience. Covid is like a Russian roulette, the other 5 guys may be perfectly fine and all seem like a simple flu. I assure you that there are many families that are begging for ECMO machines in hospitals for their loved ones, and there are none available. It's heartbreaking.


Team RC
I am sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing his story and the impact on your life.A selfish keeps everything to himself a extraordinary person gives it all away.