Richard Badillo died in his sleep at home in California City Tuesday morning, and the world lost a good man. He lived for his family, and his greatest joy was spending time with his wife and children. He was a loving, thoughtful husband; a loving, caring father. He was the kind of father who enjoyed spending endless hours playing with his children, taking them to the park, playing basketball in the backyard, telling funny stories to make them laugh. Christmas was his favorite time of year, and especially when the kids were younger he made sure the time was magical. He made sure Santa left footprints by the fireplace. He made sure Santa ate the cookies under the tree. He was proud of his son and daughter and he loved them with a warm and generous heart. He opened his heart to anyone who needed a friend or a place to stay. He provided a warm, safe home. His selflessness extended beyond the family. In June 2001, while on his way to his work as a corrections officer at California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, he stumbled across a dangerous confrontation between a California City Police Officer Ben Blanton and an out of control suspect. Without hesitation Richard jumped out of his truck to the aid of Officer Blanton and helped defuse a potentially deadly situation. The city honored him as a hero for his efforts. He was always willing to lend a helping hand wherever he could. As a husband he was beyond compare. He remembered every anniversary. He believed in saying "I love you" every day, he was a constant source of strength and love. We met in college when he was 22 and I was 18, and we've been together ever since. We knew from the beginning that nothing on earth could take us away from each other, and we shared 28 years together, 26 of them as a married couple. We were a pair without question. Richard loved movies and music, and we will always remember him dancing around the living room playing air guitar and singing along to his vinyl records. He loved football, basketball, and baseball. More to the point, he loved the Lakers and the Dodgers, and he was still sorry the Rams left L.A. He loved the simple everyday things in life, he found happiness everywhere. He worked at the prison in Tehachapi for 21 years and was talking about retiring soon. Richard was granted the blessing of leaving this world in his sleep. We will miss him forever. He left behind his wife, Debby, son Ruben, and daughter Luz. He will also be missed by Ann, and by Leroy. Richard also leaves behind his parents, Irene and Marcos Badillo of Las Vegas, and his sister Rachel and her family in Altadena, and many members of his large extended family. Also by his in-laws, Yolanda and Jose Fernandez of Douglas, Ariz., and his three sisters-in-law, Esther Chan and family, Temple City; Martha Fernandez and family, Pico Rivera; and Elizabeth Fernandez, McNeal, Ariz. He will be missed by all his family and friends. Viewing will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, at Stickel Mortuary, 2210 Inyo St., Mojave. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at Community Church of California City, 21001 Conklin Blvd., California City. Funeral service will follow at California City Memorial Park, 22000 Randsburg-Mojave Road, California City. A memorial gathering will be held following the burial at the Community Center on Heather Street at Central Park. Richard Badillo Aug. 15, 1955 - Dec. 12, 2006
Published in the Bakersfield Californian on 12/16/2006.
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