Monday, September 19, 2016
Gabriel’s music has been a way of connecting with older generations of her family.“I grew up listening, dancing and cleaning my home to their music,” said Navarro, who drove out from West Covina. “Even though I was born and raised here, I have my traditions from my family, which I passed on to my children.”Known for his powerful ballads, including “Hasta Que Te Conocí” (Until I Met You) and “Querida” (Dear), Gabriel was beloved across the world.“For over 40 years, Juan Gabriel brought his beloved Mexican music to millions, transcending borders and generations,” President Barack Obama said Monday.Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto paid tribute to Gabriel on Twitter Sunday, saying his voice and talent “represented Mexico.”• RELATED PHOTOS: Legendary Mexican singer Juan Gabriel dies at 66Born in 1950, in Parácuaro, Michoacán, Gabriel was the youngest of 10 children. But life for the family was tough. His father was taken to a psychiatric hospital when Gabriel was still a baby. Unable to support her children, Gabriel’s mother, Victoria Valadez, sent him to an orphanage.Despite his challenging childhood, the singer, whose real name was Alberto Aguilera Valadez, would eventually become one of the biggest names in Latin music. He went on to compose more than 1,500 songs during his lengthy career. He said he wrote his hit “Eternal Love,” while thinking about his mother who died in 1974.Fan Erika Paz of Moreno Valley said she was inspired by Gabriel’s strength.“Despite machismo (male chauvinism), poverty, his homosexuality, childhood trauma, he was able to triumph,” Paz said.In tribute, she asked her Facebook friends to share their favorite Juan Gabriel songs. Numerous people chimed in, sharing the hits “Yo No Nací Para Amar” (I wasn’t born to love), and “Siempre En Mi Mente” (Always in my mind). But some also talked about how his music helped with dealing with heartbreak and coping with the adversities of being gay.“He (Juan Gabriel) was a diva and unafraid,” Paz said.Back at the memorial in Westchester, fan Maribel Smith stood away from the media storm and focused on the mortuary, saying prayers for the music giant whose life story was weaved into her own.“I’m from the same hometown in Michoacán,” said Smith, who now lives in Thousand Oaks.Smith added that she was touched by Gabriel’s ability to combine the right lyrics and melodies to consistently deliver “a hit at your heart.”“He has a very, very sad story, but he converted into a nice story by creating music,” Smith said. “He brings such a joy — his personality his songs, he was a very sincere person.”Staff writers Megan Barnes, Alejandra Molina and The Associated Press contributed to this report.Monday, September 12, 2016
Morgan was still active in the administration at the time of his death as president of the California Seniors Golf Association.Morgan didn’t start out to be a golf executive. A native of Covina and a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Morgan was about to embark on a career in sports writing with the San Gabriel Valley Tribune after being discharged from the Army in the early 1960s.But at the last minute, Morgan learned that the position of athletic business manager was open at his alma mater. Morgan applied and was hired by UC Santa Barbara.“I changed course at the 11th hour,” Morgan told close friend William Stevenson. “It turned out that it was a fortunate series of events that led me to an enjoyable career.”After five years at UCSB, Morgan became the assistant commissioner of the Southern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation, where he founded the Southern California High School Golf Championships.La Jolla’s Craig Stadler won the inaugural SCHSGC title in 1972.In 1973, Morgan became the assistant director of the SCGA. After a decade with the SCGA, Morgan became the executive director of the Century Club in 1983 — leading San Diego’s PGA tour stop during a decade of change.When Morgan arrived in San Diego, the purse was $300,000. When he departed in 1993 — after Phil Mickelson won — the purse was more than $1 million. Morgan, who was the Century Club’s first full-time director, guided the tournament through two sponsorship changes.Morgan also oversaw improvements at Torrey Pines and chaired San Diego’s Golf Advisory Council. He was also the co-founder of the Save Our Schools program to support San Diego county-wide high school athletic programs.Services are still pending for Morgan, who lived in Manhattan Beach at the time of his death.Center is a freelance writer.