Alfonso R. Gonzales 78, Topeka, died September 24, 2017 at home, surrounded by his family. Mr. Gonzales retired in 2004 as a Training Consultant for the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. He had been with the labor department 26 years. He earlier had worked for the Veteran Administration as a Personnel Management Specialist and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Personnel Staffing Specialist. He had worked for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway as a Freight Carman Mechanic, worked in the Construction Industry as a Carpenter and was a swimming pool builder. He was a Korean era Veteran and served with the 82nd Airborne Division.
Mr. Gonzales was born March 13, 1939, in Topeka, KS, the son of Juan P. and Juana (Reyes) Gonzales. Alfonso attended Lincoln grade school, East Topeka Jr. High, Topeka High school, Kansas State University, and Washburn University. He was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, a member of the Cursillistas, a former member of the Parish Council, and a former President of Rangel Brother American GI Forum and La Colonia Inc.
Mr. Gonzales was active in civic and community work in Topeka, served on the Board of Directors of Goals for Topeka, SER-JOBS for progress, YMCA Youth programs and represented the Hispanic community in the areas of employment, housing, medical, discrimination, aging, and education opportunities for youth.
He married Grace P. Pimentel January 1, 1960 in Lawrence, KS, they celebrated 57 years together. She survives. Other survivors include two sons; Roderick Al Gonzales (Tina), Larry Gene Gonzales (Sheri), two daughters; Elizabeth Ann Barranco (Juan), Tammy Darnell Katsbulas (Joseph), one sister; Rachel Root, 12 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. Mr. Gonzales was predeceased by brothers; Leo Gonzales, Salvador Ortiz, Vivano Gonzales, Gabriel Gonzales, and Felix Gonzales, by sisters; Felisa Chavez, Beatrice Hernandez, Mary Gonzales, and Rosemary Espinoza, grandsons; Jordan R. Barranco and Matthew Gonzales.
Mr. Gonzales was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was a mentor to family and friends.
He will lie in state after 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., with a parish rosary at 6:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Thursday at 10:00 a.m., at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Mount Calvary.
Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Gonzales’s memory to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66603.
Online condolences and fond memories may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com.
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