Published in The Sierra Vista Herald (July 23 and July 26, 2014, combined):
Alfonso Gomez Graciano, 88, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., passed away suddenly on Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Sierra Vista Regional Health Care Center.
Al was born in San Antonio, Texas, to Josefina and Mateo Graciano on Nov. 1, 1925.
He joined the US Army Air Corps in May 1942. He served as an airplane armorer gunner on B-24 aircrew in the China-Burma-India Theater from March 1943 until December 1944. He flew 59 missions, was hospitalized three times for malaria, and was shot down by Japanese fighters. Al retired from the US Air Force in November 1967. The Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross were among the many medals and awards he earned.
He then worked for the U.S. State Department in Vietnam, after which he helped his son-in-law, Dieter Bredel, establish Sierra Vista Electric Contractors in 1971. He later worked for Civil Service at Fort Huachuca and retired in 1986.
Al was preceded in death by his two daughters, Linda Bredel and Cecelia Gardin; his parents; and four brothers and four sisters.
He is survived by his wife of almost 69 years, Marcheta Graciano (Sierra Vista); two sisters, Carlotta Ochoa (San Antonio, Texas), and Mary Lou Alvarez (Burbank, Calif.); son-in-law, Dieter Bredel (Sierra Vista); two grandchildren, Aaron Gardin (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Eliza Oldham (Phoenix, Ariz.); and three great grandchildren, Zane Gardin (Phoenix, Ariz.), Miles Gardin (Scottsdale, Ariz.), and Elise Oldham (Phoenix, Ariz.).
Graveside services will be on Monday, July 28, 2014, at 11 a.m., with full military honors at the Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Inurnment will follow.
Assisting the family is Hatfield Funeral Home.
Master Sergeant, US Air Force
World War II
Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal
IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER.
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