Gilbert Rascon died peacefully, surrounded by family, on September 17, 2016 at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont.
He was born on May 24, 1928 in Los Angeles to Gabriel and Beulah (Laurie) Rascon. In 1938, the family purchased a large piece of property in El Monte where they built a family home and many rental properties. During his junior high and high school years, Gil enjoyed taking the Red Car into Los Angeles to frequent the lavish movie houses and visit his grandmother, Emma Mary McGrath-Laurie, who ran the Emrie Inn, a boarding house for women. Despite these distractions, he graduated from El Monte High School, with many of his lifelong friends, in 1946.
After graduation Mr. Rascon began working in the grocery business, and a while later began training as a butcher. In 1965, after leasing the market for five years, he and Jim Green purchased Baker’s Village Market, located on the corner of Towne Avenue and Philadelphia Street in Pomona, and renamed it The Market Spot. Not long thereafter, he and his wife Judy settled in Claremont. In 1976 Mr. Green retired and the store was incorporated as Gil’s Market Spot.
Mr. Rascon was actively involved with the Certified Grocers Cooperative and the Pomona Elks. He served as president of Pomona National Little League from 1962 to 1964 and as Camp Fire Girls District Chairman from 1969 to 1971. From 1959 to 1967 he was a board member for J-Teens, a service program for teens. Gil also enjoyed volunteering at a food bank in Rancho Santa Margarita and as part of the Saddleback Valley Meals on Wheels program. More recently, he was involved helping his wife with Claremont Meals on Wheels.
Mr. Rascon was a licensed pilot. During his younger days he enjoyed the peacefulness of piloting a small Cessna around the Valley and taking his friends and children for a ride. He retired from the grocery business and sold Gil’s Market Spot in 1991. Family and friends worried that Mr. Rascon would likely be bored in retirement, having worked seven days a week for most of his life. But he enjoyed each and every day, reading two or three newspapers each morning and traveling and golfing often.
In 2002, Gil and Judy moved to Dove Canyon, California where they resided until 2014 when they moved back to Claremont. The Rascons continued their travels right up to the end, with a final road trip to Arizona in June. They visited 38 countries and almost every state during their 49 years of marriage.
Mr. Rascon also thoroughly enjoyed following his favorite college and professional sports teams, which expanded frequently as his grandchildren left for various colleges. He could sometimes be spotted in two or three different college t-shirts on a single Saturday during football season. He was also known for the Hawaiian shirts he wore in honor of many of these teams, and for most holidays as well. He and his kind demeanor and wonderful smile will be dearly missed by his many friends and family, his loved ones shared.
He is survived by his wife Judy; by his three children and their spouses, Kathy and Mike Calhoun, Susan and Gordon DesCombes and Ron and Teresa Rascon; by his sister Emma Weintraub; by nine grandchildren, Danielle Rascon, Alison and Matt Rascon-Grubbs, Katie Calhoun, Molly Calhoun, Lauren DesCombes, Kristen DesCombes, Jack DesCombes, Jenna Rascon and Landon Rascon; and three great-grandchildren, Jacob Rascon-Grubbs, Ben Rascon-Grubbs and Michael Baker. He also leaves his loving nieces and nephews, Michael and Nancy Lucero, Ken and Holley Lucero and Jackie and Rick Flores as well as many grandnieces and nephews. His son Bruce and brothers Gabriel and William preceded him in death.
A celebration of Gil’s life will be held on Sunday, October 16 at the Padua Hills Theatre in Claremont at 9:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to Claremont Meals on Wheels, the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Foundation or the charity of your choice.