SOUTH FORK—Alfonso “Al” R. Espinosa, 70, passed away Sunday morning, April 21 at his home in South Fork.
A person of many interests and talents, Al graduated from Monte Vista H.S. in 1963. He then went to Denver, where he studied business. He continued his education in Colorado Springs, where he received his certification in medical radiology. He then proceeded to California and attended East LA College while working for United CA Bank. He also attended Ventura College where he studied psychology, which he later utilized in teaching special needs, gifted and autistic children at the Children’s Treatment Center School at Camarillo State Hospital.
His research and innovative teaching approach earned the school several grants. His goal was to help children meet their highest potential and he incorporated various field trips, scouting, music therapy and ice skating, a curriculum under which the children blossomed. His classroom was deemed an exemplary showcase, and was honored by a visit from Ronald Reagan. He excelled in ice skating and on one occasion was asked to fill in as substitute personal trainer for child actress Susan Olsen.
While residing in California he also worked as a professional model. He later returned to his native Colorado, and settled in South Fork where he resided until his death.
During that time he studied real estate and worked in property management, dealing primarily with summer homes in the South Fork area. Al loved the outdoors and also worked as a certified ski instructor at Wolf Creek Ski Area. His hobbies included fishing, skiing, ice skating and eventually, long distance running.
After retirement he remained busy and became involved in music, and served as manager for singing artist Tim Longmire. He especially loved helping bring music and dance to the senior citizens in the local nursing and retirement homes, until stricken with CHF and cancer, and his health would no longer permit.
Al was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Anita Espinosa, four brothers Alfonso (from whom he inherited his namesake), Julian, Chris and Max; three sisters, Helen Archuleta, Emma Atencio and Fedelina Lujan and a niece Eileen Ruiz.
He is survived by one sister, Marcella Helton and two brothers, Luciano Espinosa and Isidoro Lujan, as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
His wish for humanity is that we lend a hand to the underprivileged and homeless. He also asks that we open our hearts to the sick, injured and lost dogs and cats. Alfonso, wanted to express a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who sent beautiful cards, letters, gifts, kind thoughts, prayers and spiritual guidance. The gracious efforts of the fine people at Hospice del Valle are also greatly appreciated.
Al requested that no funeral service be held except for a bulletin mass, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 28 during the 10 a.m. mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Monte Vista.