Rufino Z. Fernandez
July 4, 1945 - June 11, 2020
Rufino Zabala Fernandez was born on July 4th, 1945 in Daet, Camarines Norte (Bicol) Philippines, to Avelino Soliman Fernandez and Sixta Hagonoy Zabala. He was the 2nd oldest of 6 kids; Daniela Remoroza, Dolores Rogelio, Rodolfo Fernandez, Dhelia Laviste, and Angelina del Rosario.
He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Helen Alcantara Fernandez and their 3 children; daughter-Roylyn Fernandez, daughter-RobyLyn Fernandez Buckley and spouse-Ervin Buckley, and son-Roy Fernandez and spouse-Tina Liang. He was a doting grandfather to Nataniel Fernandez Thompson, Gabriela Leilani Liang-Funes, and Noa Isabella Fernandez.
Rufino, affectionately known as “Roy”, was a career military man. He was a decorated Army Veteran, served during the Vietnam War and Desert Storm era, and served his country for over 20+ years. During his tenure as a soldier, highlights of his career include working in close combat with tanks/cannons and also working personnel in the Criminal Investigation Division (C.I.D). His years in the military afforded him the opportunity to learn and experience new places, cultures, and meet a wide array of people. His travels took him from the Philippines to across the United States; Presidio-San Francisco, CA, Fort Ord-Monterey, CA, Fort Lewis-Tacoma, WA, Fort Sill-Lawton, Ok, Fort Benning-Columbus, GA, Fort Bliss-El Paso, TX, and White Sands Missile Range (W.S.M.R)-Las Cruces, NM and overseas to Karlsruhe, Germany and Robinson Barracks-Stuttgart, Germany. Roy retired his service under Honorable Discharge in 1992.
Roy thrived on experiences, connections, and travel. He capitalized on every opportunity to show his family a more enriched and diversified life. While overseas, every summer he would plan a vacation to allow his family to see different places in the world; Philippines, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, etc. During his time in Europe we visited and got to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Eiffel Tower, The Mona Lisa at The Louvre, Hitler’s Eagles Nest, Versailles-The Hall of Mirrors, Italy’s Colosseum that held historic gladiator fights, Matador’s Bull Fighting in Spain, the start of building the Coliseum in Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics, Castles/Monuments, etc.; places that people only read or dream about.
After his years of military service, Roy continued his public service by working another 10+ years for the United States Postal Service. Initially starting off as an inbound/outbound mail clerk and rising to the level of Supervisor by the time he retired in 2005.
Roy was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. His most fundamental core centered around Family and Education. He believed with education it could bring a better life and encouraged his children and all to finish their education. An achievement he accomplished and which we were very proud of, was when he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from New Mexico State University. Roy loved his family with every fiber of his being and taught his children and grandchildren the importance of family. Roy was passionate about his family and always made sure to plan for quality time. He instilled in all of his family the belief of being supportive and encouraging; values that displayed the true meaning of unconditional love.
Roy touched everyone he met. When thinking about him, please remember this Farewell Sentiment:
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
For the love we shared will never die.
Together we remain in spirit so bold,
Even though your hand I cannot hold.
Love keeps all the memories in place,
Just as it does your image and face.
Do not cry because I’ve gone away,
For we will meet again someday…
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