Carlos L. Herrera “Charlie,” 87, was lifted up to heaven on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 after a battle with Covid-19 and cancer. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, nino, cousin and friend to many.
Charlie loved his family more than anything and his best days were those spent with them. He also enjoyed singing with his mariachi family, traveling with Grace, and hanging out with his buddies.
Charlie was born on December 24, 1933 to Alberto and Estella Herrera in Springer, New Mexico. After leaving New Mexico, he moved to Pueblo, Colorado and met Grace Trujillo, the love of his life. On June 21, 1952, they were married. He was in the Army from 1952-1954, and Grace moved with him to Kansas, Indiana and Illinois. He completed his military service at Ft. Carson and then they settled in Pueblo. He was employed by the federal government at the Pueblo Depot Activity and retired after 36 years of service in 1987 as the Public Relations Officer. In 1978, they opened Alberto’s Restaurant and in 1998, they sold it and started their retirement years. But, Charlie, being Charlie, heard the restaurant life calling them back and in 2006, they opened Herrera’s Family Restaurant. Many of their former customers returned with their friendship and generous support. If you were one of the lucky ones to show up on your birthday, he would make sure you didn’t leave without him singing to you! Finally in 2016, at the age of 83, Herrera’s officially closed.
He was active in many organizations throughout his lifetime. He was the president of his union at work, a member of: American G.I. Forum, El Mariachi De Pueblo, the Eagles, the Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce, the Moose Lodge, American Legion, D.A.V. and the Knights of Columbus.
Since 2011, Charlie battled cancer, it never truly left his body, but we celebrated his survival every year at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. He was so proud of his Relay Team, “Charlie’s Angels.” And every birthday on Christmas Eve was truly a reason to celebrate!
For many years, he was the “Bingo Caller” for the G.I. Forum and the ladies loved hearing his voice. Charlie loved going to the church festivals, and every year you would find a group gathered around them laughing, enjoying the music, and drinking a beer (or two!) He was excellent at grilling up a steak, and he loved watching his “spookers” on tv. Charlie had a very subtle sense of humor and if you weren’t looking at just the right moment, you’d miss his discrete jokes. He was a well-respected man, a reserved man, and a wonderful provider never leaving his family wanting for anything. He was loved by many and we will miss him dearly. His absence will be felt the rest of our days. We’ve always said he was VERY well taken care of, never needing much because his 4 girls were always there to get him whatever he needed. We were his “paparazzi,” we loved him so very much in life and will love and cherish him in death.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his wife of 68 years, Grace (Trujillo) Herrera; daughters, Debbie Cowan, Terri Herrera, Gina (Dean Parker) Herrera-Parker; grandchildren, Deanna (Russell Allen) Cowan, Benjamin (Franchesca Padilla) Montoya, Christian Benavidez, Jonah Parker; great grandchildren, Andrevion Cargill, Sebastian Cargill, Landen Montoya, Dalton Montoya, and Tayvin Allen; sisters, Della Ponce, Martha Barela; in-laws, Lucy (Joe) Rodriguez, Ben (Joyce) Trujillo, Cornelia Herrera, many nieces, nephews, cousins from near and far, friends and neighbors. Grace and Charlie had 26 Godchildren. Preceded in death by: his parents, brothers Sammy and Gilbert; beautiful granddaughter Roxann Cowan; and infant son Charles Jr.
With respect to our traveling family and friends, we have chosen to wait for services until the pandemic clears up a bit and the weather is warmer.
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