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Robert "Bob" Barela

November 14, 2022
Robert "Bob" Barela
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Obituary for Robert "Bob" Barela

Robert "Bob" Barela

On the evening of November 14, 2022, Bob Barela of Lakewood, Colorado, peacefully died at the age of 94 with his wife Kathy and family at his side.

Bob was born in Bell, California, to Gilbert and Lupe Barela in 1928. They later moved to East Los Angeles. He often worked as a child actor in the movies to financially help the family. As glamorous as that sounds, it was also a sacrifice for him. He graduated from Roosevelt High School and worked as an auto mechanic. He attended East Los Angeles Jr. College before earning a scholarship to Loyola University where he became interested in education and working with kids. During this time, he met Kathleen. However, he felt called to serve God and entered the seminary. But the life of a priest was not meant to be. He renewed his courtship with Kathy and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving stateside during the Korean War. Bob and Kathy were married in 1954 and started their family of seven. Bob went back to school and earned a BA in Education from California State University – Los Angeles and an MA in Educational Administration from San Jose State University. He was an educator for many years as a teacher and administrator. He was an Equal Opportunity case investigator with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, and later worked for the U.S. Census Bureau. He was proud of his Mexican American heritage, and when he met someone who he thought spoke Spanish, he would introduce himself as "Uvaldo Jesus Roberto Barela de Sotelo de Miranda, but you can call me Bob." He was active in civil rights and was an active Catholic, eucharistic minister, member of the Knights of Columbus, writer, photographer, singer, saxophone player, great dancing partner, athlete, coach, and sports fan.

But most of all, Bob Barela was a family man and a man of faith who loved his country. He had a great smile and a strong life force. He was energetic, positive, and outgoing. He made friends wherever he went. He made people feel special and important. He was an encourager and a supporter who helped others to believe in themselves. He loved to celebrate and gather people for food, fun, and prayer. He loved playing sports! And he loved music! He was passionate about education and the difference that it could make for people. He was an out-of-the-box thinker and problem-solver. He was a great communicator. Bob’s greatest joy was his family! He loved Kathy and their seven children with his whole heart! He strived to be a great husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He and Kathy have 24 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Bob always looked to the Lord and counted his blessings even during difficult, challenging times. His faith and prayer life truly mattered to him. Decades before it was even a thing, he would often ask, “What would Jesus do?”

Bob is preceded in death by his father Gilbert, his mother Lupe, his brother Gil, his sister Becky, his brother Woody, his sisters-in-law Pat, Mary, and Terry, his brothers-in-law Jim, Eddie, Dave, and Bill, and his grandson Robert. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Kathy Barela, his sister, Juliet Pacifico, his sister-in-law, Noreen Masterson, his children, Anne Baum (Steve), Mike Barela (Deborah), Mary Barela-Cordova (Mike), Maureen Barela-Wille (Matt), Pete Barela, Tom Barela, and Christina Esteve (Pablo), his grandchildren, Mike Baum (Elizabeth), Rachel Sefton (Aaron), Brianna Montoya-Anderson (Nick), Sierra Montoya Barela, David Cordova, Amy Cordova (Matt), Kristy Wille-Matney (Jeff), Dan Wille (Kelly), Isaac Mullins, Josh Barela (Carolina), Micaiah Mullins (Mike), Grace Mahan (Brayden), Antonia Barela, Peter Barela, Aiyana Barela, Araciela Christina Barela, Liam Barela, Luke Barela, Katrina Barela, Santiago Esteve, Elena Esteve, Pablo Esteve, and Ana Esteve, and great-grandchildren, Lily, Pax, Tucker, Hunter, Ashlyn, Serenity, Wesley, Eva, Tiernan, Egann, Callum, and Eli, with two more on the way, and his many nieces and nephews.

A Rosary will be held on the evening of Monday, Nov. 28th at St. Jude Catholic Church, Lakewood, CO. Time TBD. The Funeral Mass will be at 11:00 am on Tuesday, Nov 29th at St. Jude Catholic Church, Lakewood, CO. Reception immediately following. A Burial Service will be at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 29th at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver, CO.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

• The Latin American Educational Foundation,

• Arrupe Jesuit High School, or

• A charity of your choice

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Previous Events

Recitation of the Rosary




7:00 PM 11/28/2022 7:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 11/28/2022 8:00:00 PM
St. Jude Catholic Church

9405 W Florida Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80232

St. Jude Catholic Church
9405 W Florida Avenue Lakewood 80232 CO
United States

Funeral Mass




11:00 AM 11/29/2022 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 11/29/2022 12:00:00 PM
St. Jude Catholic Church

9405 W Florida Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80232

Reception immediately following Mass. There will be a formal procession leaving the church at 1:45 PM to Ft. Logan National Cemetery.

St. Jude Catholic Church
9405 W Florida Avenue Lakewood 80232 CO
United States

Cemetery Details


Fort Logan National Cemetery Final Resting Place

3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Denver, CO 80235

3698 South Sheridan Boulevard Denver 80235 CO
United States

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