Luis Chavez Rico

Luis "Louie" Rico of Alameda passed away on Oct. 22, 2014, surrounded by his loved ones.

He is survived by his son, Louie Rico, Jr. (Isabel) of Manteca, Calif., daughters Elma Rico Kastning (Floyd) of Alameda and Veronica Rico of Hayward; his grandchildren Roman and Ryan Rico and Benjamin and Emilia Kastning and his great-grandchildren Cayden, Mariah, and Brody Rico. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Irma, and oldest daughter Evelyn.

Luis was born in Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, but was raised in Ciudad Juarez. He was the eldest of eight children born to Manuel and Enedina Chavez Rico. He proudly served two terms in the U.S. Army and when he received his honorable discharge in 1947, he moved to Oakland. He worked in a series of warehouse jobs, but it was from Colgate Palmolive in Berkeley that he would retire from after 35 years of employment.

While new to Oakland, Luis enjoyed going to dances, where he was a most dashing young man. One of his favorite establishments was Sweet’s Ballroom. It was at one of these dances in 1948 that he would reunite with the beautiful Irma after having been briefly introduced to her at a dance in Juarez the year before. When he saw her again, he said he would never let her go and they would remain married for nearly 64 years until Irma’s passing in 2012.

Luis was a devoted husband and father; he instilled in his children a great pride of the Mexican culture and insisted that everyone speak Spanish at home, as they would speak English outside of it. Luis was also a most talented and creative artist and craftsman.

He designed and built several cocktail bars for his home; and from behind these he would serve as bartender during many of the very festive parties he and Irma would host. He was known for his sharp wit and magnificent sense of humor.

Luis is also remembered by his children for the colorful tales of his youth, and for his chilling tales of the macabre. For many years, every May he would pack up the entire family in the car and make the three-day, two-night trek to Juarez to visit his family.

In their later years in life, Luis and Irma enjoyed getting dressed up on Saturday nights and going dancing; and even later yet in life, they were thrilled to spend time with their beloved grandchildren.

While we are happy that Luis is now with his beloved Irma and Eve, his presence is sorely missed. We take comfort in the belief that life is but a dream, and he has wakened from this dream to move on to his true destination. God bless us all.

A service for Luis and Irma will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, at noon at Greer Family Mortuary in Alameda. A gathering at Elma’s and Floyd’s house will be held afterwards.

In lieu of flowers, we would request donations in Luis’s name to any animal organization of your choice or the Veterans Administration.

Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services FD 1408 865-3755