"When he and my mom retired almost 24 years ago, they moved to Santa Rosa and my dad wanted a little part time job to keep busy. You see, he had worked almost all his entire life," she shared.
"As a first generation Californian, his family had five kids and lived in a one room house by the railroad tracks. Really! As the oldest son, he needed to do more than just help the family in the fields during the summer. So, starting at 10 or 11 years old, he got his shoeshine box and hitched rides from Bradley to Camp Roberts (near Paso Robles) to shine the soldiers shoes. He has never stopped working since. He raised three kids and put me through college and law school," said the Petaluma mother-of-two, who is also Sonoma County's Assistant District Attorney. Chief Deputy Gomez oversees criminal trial departments. She joined the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office in 2003 having served in the Vallejo City Attorney's Office and the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
"My 79 year old dad has decided it is time to give up working for good - well, working for pay, because he works around my parents house a few hours every day."
Louie Gomez leaves the City of Santa Rosa with no fanfare, no pension, and no acknowledgement, other than the fact that during the 22 years he has walked kids across the street at the intersection of Stony Point and the HWY 12 on-ramps, he kept thousands of kids safe. "Not a one was hit by a car," said his proud daughter.
As a special thank you, Gomez rallied friends and families to surprise her dad on his last day on the job. "Thank you for your service, your loyalty and your hard work. You truly are a part of the greatest generation," said Gomez.
I know that I would be backed by many who would agree that we also have to thank Louie Gomez for being the role model for such an outstanding daughter.
For Louie and all of the unsung heros out there at the end of this school year - you have made the world a better, safer place for our young people and though there's not often nearly the fanfare you deserve, we applaud you.