Resident Spotlight: Ricardo Gomez

August 18, 2016

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Meet our resident, Ricardo Gomez! He was the oldest child of 9, born to Julia & Alcides Gomez in Bogota, Colombia on August 24, 1930. Ricardo shares his memories, stating “My dad was an engineer. One of my memories of him was how he enjoyed physical exercise. Dad had been an amateur boxer in his younger years and so he continued to motivate us children with a physical activity. He’d get us up at 5:30 every morning to go to the park where we work on stretching, gymnastics, aerobics then we’d come home shower, eat breakfast and go to school. My mother was superwoman! She worked before the depression and after the depression for the red cross. When I look back I realize what a wise woman she was. She made time for everyone and cared for us well. As a family we’d take family vacations on a train which was a treat for us. The weather in Bogota is very nice and you can experience all the climates throughout the day. The higher you go, the colder it gets. The lower you go, the warmer it gets, so we’d head downhill to a warmer climate and would stop at the little towns and buy things from the Vendors selling things like pork rinds, chicken, soda pop, biscuits, peanuts, and roasted large ants (they were a local delicacy called Culona that tasted like chips.) The train would bring us close to our vacation destination and we’d have horses waiting to take us the rest of the way, which was 4 or 5 miles. We enjoyed swimming, fresh tropical fruit, just enjoying the beauty of the location.”
“I spent all my growing up and school days in Bogota. Once I was in high school I went to a military school at age 15, I was a cadet for 4 years. In 1949 I finished school but had no plans. My parents were worried what would become of me, they knew of my ambition to fly and encouraged me to move to the United Stated to go to flying school. So in 1950 a group of friends from military school and I found an internationally famous school called, Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is now called Spartan College. That’s where I learned how to fly. I began to lose interest going further with air school and needed a job. I found one at Hillcrest Hospital as an Orderly. That’s where I met my wife Juanita, she was a student nurse. We dated for about one year and on October 28, 1952 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma we were married. At that time the Korean war was underway and I was drafted January 26, 1953 in the US Army where I served for 2 years. I went to a specialized school as a dental assistant. Then served at Fort Hood, TX. I loved it and happy to serve in this capacity. After my service in 1955 I came back to Tulsa by myself to look for work and then brought my family here. I’ve always admired my wife for her dedication and care for our children and the household. Our first son, Rick Jr. was born while I was in Fort Hood in 1954. Carlos was born in 1955 and Tony born in 1959. My job search landed me working for the city bus company in Tulsa. My co-workers encouraged me to go back and finish college, which I did. I enrolled at TU in 1956 but there was a season when I had to stop college because of my father passing away in 1957. So 1963 I was able to go back part time to college and worked. I was thankful to graduate in 1967 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and began to work for the State of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1968. I stayed there until retiring in July of 1990. We lived in the country by Norman at this time. We had built our home and enjoyed country living for 35 years until I had health problems and needed to look for something closer to medical care. Since Tulsa was like my hometown, I decided to move back in 2004. University Village became my home in 2014, I like it very much; the people are very nice. My neighbor recruited me for the Drama Club. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I first joined but I like it very much. The golf outings and Aqua Mobility classes are some of the other things I enjoy doing in my week. University Village is a great place to live!”

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