Obituary: In Memory of Richard Nunez Beltran, September 3, 1925 – June 9, 2013
By Ray Beltran and Evelyn Gonzales
June 20, 2013 • 930 views
The life of Richard Nunez Beltran, the 5th of 10 children born to Celso and Maria Beltran, was not an easy life, but one that taught him early in life that good hard work will always bring its rewards. During the late 1800’s, his grandparents, Maximiliano and Concepcion Beltran, came from Abasolo, Guanajuato, Mexico for a better life. They worked hard and eventually purchased two acres of land at 420 Central Avenue. This property is now known as Cypress and Orchard Street. Maximiliano and Concepcion had three children, Celso Beltran, Louisa Beltran (Castaneda), and Maria Beltran (Ortiz). When Richard’s grandparents died, the land was divided between their 3 children (1 being his father). Richard’s parents, Celso and Maria both died by the time he was 13, leaving 10 children, Maria Beltran (DeCory) (deceased), Henry Beltran (deceased), Gilbert Beltran (deceased), Esperanza Beltran (Chasco) (deceased), Celestino Beltran, Agripina Beltran (Adame), Frank Beltran (deceased), Lupe Beltran and Carolina Beltran, ranging in age from 1 to 18, to fend for themselves.
Despite Richard’s inability to remain in school, he managed to teach himself to read and write. He did what he could to help his brothers and sisters by working in the farms around El Monte. He was a farmhand for Jim Stanton, picking and packing vegetables, prior to joining the Army. Richard N. Beltran served during World War II from September 22, 1944 to November 23, 1946. He was with the 82nd Chemical Mortar Battalion in Japan working as a guard patrolman. He completed 4 months of infantry basic training, 3 months of rifleman, 10 months of machine gunner and 3 months as guard patrolman. He qualified as a marksman with the M1 rifle, in January 1945. He earned several medals, such as the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Philippine Liberation ribbon. He also received a signed letter from President, Harry Truman for serving his country.
Richard and his siblings made a promise their parents to stick together and always try to help one another and to continue those beliefs onto their own families. This soon became reality when they divided the property that was left to them, as they lived and raised their own families as neighbors and cousins on the corner block of Cypress Avenue and Orchard Street.
When Richard returned from the Army he searched out the love he left behind, Elisa Lopez. They met while working in the farms, even though they didn’t speak much he know she was the one for him. When he returned they began a short courtship and became married. Richard made a home for his wife, of 64 years, on the property that was left to him and his siblings. There they had 7 children, Richard Beltran, Raymond Beltran, David Beltran, Carlotta Beltran (Zepeda) (deceased), Evelyn Beltran (Chavez-Gonzales), Andrew Beltran and Lorraine Beltran (Limon); 23 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.
He was a man of action and very few words. He was also a very proud man, a family man that would do whatever he could for his family. He was a hardworking man with very good work ethics and never missed a day of work or complained about his personal aches and pains. He was a doer not a complainer. His confidence and determination helped him to tackle any task that came his way. He not only taught us the value of hard work and respect of others, especially our elders, but he also showed us to be resourceful with what we had. Qualities he learned from his parents and had passed on to his children. His love for God, his family, his country and his belief in the Catholic faith never altered, as he prayed morning and night daily, along with attending Sunday morning mass, then upon retirement it became daily services, until he became confined to bed during the last 5-years of his life.
During his down time he enjoyed watching various sports, but enjoyed boxing and baseball the most. Fighters such as lightweight fighter, Mondo Ramos, Bobby Chicon, Indian Red, etc., and he was True Blue to the Dodgers, especially during the Fernando Valenzuela era. He never missed a game, we often saw him watching one game while listening to another on his radio, while yelling at Lasorda. He was a very special man and will be truly missed by all, especially his wife of 64 years.