Tributes for

Tovar, Guillermo Hector "Gil"

Guillermo Hector Tovar, father of six and decorated military veteran, passed away on March 24, 2012, from pneumonia with his family by his side. He was 83. Guillermo (Gil or Bill) was born May 10, 1928, to Jacinto and Pauline Tovar in Los Angeles. He was raised in Jackson, CA, where his father was a gold miner. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at 15 and served in World War II and the Korean War. While in Korea, he fought in the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, a grueling battle where the Marines broke through an encircling Chinese army in sub-zero weather. After being shot in the skull and captured by Chinese forces during Task Force Drysdale, Gil escaped and returned to Marine lines. He was awarded the Purple Heart and retired from the Marines as a Gunnery Sergeant in 1963 after twenty years of service. Gil then worked for the San Mateo County District Attorney's office for 25 years, retiring as a Senior Inspector. Ill-suited for retirement, he then served ten years as a court security officer at the federal courthouses in San Francisco. He held a B.S. from the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, CA. Active in politics for many years, he served on the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee, worked on numerous campaigns, and was a delegate to Democratic National Conventions. He organized scholarship drives for Mexican-American students and worked through various organizations to promote opportunities for Latinos in the public sector. In recent years, he assisted veterans in obtaining their government entitlements. He loved Giants baseball, 49ers football and Stanford Women's basketball. He was a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, 1st Marine Division Association (Golden Gate Chapter), The Chosin Few (Golden Gate Chapter), VFW Post 69 (Redwood City), Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Underage Military Service. He resided in San Carlos with devoted wife Nancy, the mother of his two youngest children. In addition to Nancy, he is survived by children Joseph, Courtney, Robin, Eric, and Amy; grandchildren Joanna, Julia, Martin, Jackson Guillermo, and Carolina; daughter-in-law Patrice and son-in-law Ben. His eldest daughter Carol predeceased him. A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 31 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 178 Clinton St., Redwood City, where Gil served as an usher for many years. Donations may be made to Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd., Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057 or online at Sign the guestbook at


Mortuary: Crippen & Flynn Carlmont Chapel

Florist: Plaza Florist and Gifts