Arnulfo Picazo and Usbaldo Gomez were good to their wives, good to their families, good to their friends and good to their children.
Father Michael Brillantes, the pastor at St. Bruno’s Church, said they will be remembered most for the love they had for their own kids and how good they were with other people’s kids.
“I once heard someone say that if you love children, God reserves a special place in Heaven for you,” Brillantes said.
Hundreds gathered at the church Friday for the funeral Mass of both cousins, who in San Bruno.
The church was so packed that people were standing along the walls inside the church and standing outside in the courtyard and in front of the steps of the church to mourn the loss of Picazo, 39, and Gomez, 37.
The cousins had been inseparable childhood friends, and they continued to be inseperable until their last day.
In fact, Picazo and Gomez were with each other at St. Bruno’s on the day they were rear-ended in the fatal crash. Gomez had just baptized his baby daughter, and Picazo took part in the ceremony as her godfather. The baptism ended just minutes before the fatal accident.
While they were always together, they each had unique traits and qualities that their loved ones said will always be remembered.
Picazo, known by many as Nuco, loved spending time with his kids. After taking them to baseball practice or to a gym class, it was almost guaranteed that they would stop at 7-Eleven for Slurpees.
He had an eclectic taste in music and loved serenading his wife, Julee Lange-Picazo—his high school sweetheart—with UB40 songs.
Picazo loved working in construction and with his union, Laborers’ Local 261 (LiUNA). He could build most anything—a true master craftsman, family members said.
Many also said he would give the shirt off his back for a friend in need.
Picazo and Gomez were good friends with a number of Daly City and San Bruno police officers. At the funeral, Daly City police Lt. Mike Price said Picazo always had a saying that he would repeat around him, which in English translates to, “There aren’t a lot of us, but we are strong.”
Price said he had never met a person more humble or generous.
Like Picazo, Gomez, known as Baldo, loved spending time with his family. He enjoyed coaching his kids during baseball, playing with them and all their cousins, gardening, fishing and being a member of his union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 6.
He was an excellent cook and entertainer, he loved barbecuing and always enjoyed eating his favorite dish, pozole.
Gomez’s favorite holiday was the Fourth of July because it was not only his wife’s birthday but also another opportunity to put on the best fireworks show in his neighborhood.
His loved ones remembered him for his big smile, roaring laughter, being the life of the party and always putting others before himself.
Price said Gomez had a knack for making friends, and it showed everywhere they went together.
“Whenever we went on an outing, we never got too far,” Price said, “because he would always run into somebody he knew.”
With the loss of both Picazo and Gomez, many said San Bruno lost two friends and great men who will always be remembered in the community and whose spirit will live through all of those who loved them.
Picazo is survived by his wife, two young children, mother and father, brother and three sisters.
Gomez is survived by his wife, three young children, mother and father, two brothers and two sisters.
The families have now set up a fund for the children. Contributions can be made to the Usbaldo Gomez & Arnulfo Picazo Memorial Fund at: SF Police Credit Union, 2550 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA 94122.