In Memory of Abel Hernandez
Abel Hernandez, 62, passed away in his Bakersfield home surrounded by his family on April 25, 2016. He was born in Bakersfield, California on August 23, 1953, the third of four children of the late Pedro and Petra Hernandez. He married Cecelia (Morin) Hernandez in 1975 and together they had four children.
Abel was active in the lives of his children as well as the church, coaching JBA baseball, traveling for club volleyball and soccer tournaments, and cheering on their Drillers. Abel and Cece opened their home to countless friends who they made feel like family, hosting class swim parties, homecoming floats, and birthday party shenanigans. They even have a Croatian “son” Roko, an international student who lived with them for a year. Abel served as Parent Club President of Quailwood Elementary School and was a member of the Kern High School Redistricting Committee and Fruitvale School District Board. He was a parishioner of St. Philip the Apostle and led youth confirmation classes.
In June 2006, Abel received a double-lung transplant and became an ambassador with OneLegacy/Donate Life dedicating his extra ten years to advocating for organ donation. His commitment to this work was recognized on the Donate Life float in the 2008 Rose Parade. Additionally he and his family participated in several Bay to Breakers, an annual San Francisco race that celebrates the human spirit. Both events honored the life of his donor.
Abel enjoyed camping and fishing, soulful music and mariachis. He practiced Karate during his college years and was a ping-pong wizard. He loved his Labrador Retrievers and was a diehard Boston Celtics fan. Most importantly, he was a model of integrity, humility, generosity, faith and family values. He worked hard in all he did and achieved much, but was most proud of the family that he and Cecelia raised together. These past few years he found great joy in being Papa to his five grandchildren. A friend and inspiration to all those who knew him, Abel could never make a “quick run” to the grocery store because he would always run into someone to chat with. Abel will be sorely missed, but his infectious smile will never be forgotten.