Gonzalo "Gonzo" Saavedra

Gonzalo "Gonzo" Saavedra

September 26, 1964 - January 31, 2023

Gonzalo "Gonzo" Saavedra

September 26, 1964 - January 31, 2023


Gonzalo “Gonzo” Saavedra

Gonzalo “Gonzo” Saavedra, 58, Rancho Santa Margarita, California 31.JAN.2023 has passed away after a long struggle with esophageal cancer.  He was surrounded by family and friends.

Gonzalo was born September 26th 1964 in Cochabamba, Bolivia to Jose Saavedra and Noemi Viana Saavedra.  Gonzo and his family immigrated to the United States in November 1978 when he was 14 years old.  Through trials and tribulations in his youth, Gonzo was able to pursue his life dream of flying Cessna airplanes.  He rode his bicycle 7 miles one way to a job washing planes at Long Beach airport in hopes of making enough money to one day start flying lessons.  Needless to say, Gonzo’s passion for flying came to fruition and he obtained his private pilot’s license at the age of 15.  He continued flying and working for his instructor by relocating planes to and from other airports.  With much influence from his flight instructor Dr. Mills, Gonzo pursued his major in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on Electronics at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  During his college years he meet his wife Sandra Journet through their Cerritos circle of friends.  Their love story began with Sandra’s childhood friends intersecting with his college friends.  The friendship circles continued intersecting and growing while their relationship led to marriage in 1992 with well over 300+ family and close friends in attendance.  They were happily married for almost 31 years and blessed with a beautiful daughter Karina in 2000.

Gonzalo began his professional career as an electrical engineer at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing working on projects like designing cockpit display and throttle control for military C-17 aircrafts and on commercial aircrafts.  He then took a new opportunity that incorporated his scuba diving and aviation skills at the Space Station division of McDonnell Douglas/Boeing. As technology quickly arose in the early 1990’s Gonzo embraced the high-tech and semiconductor industry and worked for Toshiba, Avnet and Arrow for nearly 30 years.

Throughout his life, Gonzo loved spending time with his family and friends. He enjoyed vacationing in Maui, sight-seeing throughout Europe, wine tasting in Napa, taking his boat to the ocean and lakes, scuba diving, attending rock concerts, working on his Radio Control scale model airplanes and spending his Saturday mornings at the flying field. Most of all, he cherished the time spent with his friends with those he met from all destinations and walks of life.  His big heart, warm smile and fun nature was his immediate connection to the world. And because of that, he will be leaving a large imprint on those who were blessed to have known him.

Gonzalo is survived by his wife Sandra, their daughter Karina, parents Jose and Noemi Saavedra, sister Claudia, brother Hugo and his wife Alisha, father-in-law Jacques Journet, sister-in-law Sylvie Journet, nephew Noah and niece Melina.

Celebration of Life will be held Friday, March 17th, 2023 at 4:00pm – Norman P. Murray Center 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to GoFundMe or City of Hope; links referenced. Our heartfelt thanks to the Dr. Misagh Karimi and his team at City of Hope along with Dr. Amanda Schwer and her team at Newport Diagnostic Center.



Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: March 17, 2023 (4:00 PM)
  • Venue: Norman P. Murray Senior Center

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