Cover photo for Charles John Cervantes's Obituary
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1944 Charles 2020

Charles John Cervantes

July 15, 1944 — October 2, 2020

Charles John Cervantes, (Carlos) passed away peacefully October 2 in his Redlands home after a courageous 3 year battle with cancer surrounded with love from his wife of 41 years, Cynthia, close family and his dearest friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Carlos and Mary Luna Cervantes, dear Aunts and Uncles, his brother-in-law Allen Bone and numerous friends. He was born in Riverside, CA and raised in Colton where he was cherished as the first born of both the Luna and Cervantes families. He relished the role of the first cousin and was admired by those who followed him. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia, his sisters Mary Bone and Irene Coyazo (Mike), his much- loved nieces Dena Jensen, Taryn Espinosa, Heather Oldfield, Maya Lipman, his nephew Paul Denno, great nieces and nephews, his Brother in-Law, Michael Denno, his Uncle Raymond Luna and many cousins, God- children and friends.
Charles served with honors in the US Navy from 1966 -1970 serving on the Aircraft Carrier USS Oriskany as an Aviation Store Keeper Petty Officer Third Class. On board the "Mighty O", he survived one of the deadliest fires on a navy ship. He explored Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and enjoyed his stateside port of San Francisco where family always gathered to welcome him home between 9- month long cruises. The late John McCain was briefly a shipmate on the Oriskany.
Upon discharge from the Navy, Charles resumed his college education at San Bernardino Community College and earned a Bachelors degree in Social Work from Cal Poly Pomona and later a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Redlands. He began his career with the County of San Bernardino in the Probation Department as a counselor in Juvenile Hall in 1974. Here he was assigned the name "Carlos" and was known by the kids and staff as Mr. "C". It was here that he met his future wife Cynthia who was also a counselor.
He promoted to the Public Health Department in 1979 where he served as a counselor and outreach coordinator in the High Schools. In 1987, he promoted again to Social Worker IV for the Child Protective Services Department. He was a Carrier Worker in the San Bernardino Office and became the countywide Foster Parent Recruiter/Trainer in the Special Services Division of CPS in 1994. In 2004, he became the Foster Parent Ombudsman for the County.
The promotions through the years reflected his excellent counseling and communication skills, his respect for all people, his professional and likeable demeanor and above all, his dedication to serving children in need. Through his 30- year career, he received many awards for his work with children and families, including the National Association of Counties Achievement Award for his work with high-risk youth. The California State Foster Parent Association selected Carlos as Social Worker of the Year for Southern California in 1999. Upon his retirement, he was honored for his 30 years of distinguished service by the Board of Supervisors in 2005.
Eight years prior to retiring from the County, he was asked to help develop curriculum for classes at SBVC in Case Management and Counseling. That led to a role he absolutely loved as an Adjunct Instructor for San Bernardino Valley College in the Human Services Department. He continued teaching into retirement for a total of 18 years consistently recognized by students and faculty as an outstanding instructor. During this time, Carlos also served as a Facilitator for the Foster and Kinship Care Education Program at SBVC.
Upon retirement when not teaching at SBVC, Carlos and Cynthia enjoyed travel to favorite places in the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and spent 8 days in Cuba on a People to People Educational Tour with UCLA. Wherever Carlos travelled he had an uncanny way of connecting with people.
Carlos was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church where he served as an Usher and volunteer for outreach projects. He was also a member of the "Red Shirt" Ushers for the Redlands Bowl. As a proud graduate of Aquinas High School Class of 63, he served as a Guest Speaker for Veterans Day Assembly programs.
His family and many friends say they will miss his great sense of humor which was quiet, kind, light and human. He was fun and uplifting to be around, generous and thoughtful. He ascribed silly nicknames to his nieces and loved selecting fun gifts for them. Charles John Cervantes lived an honorable life. May God Bless Him. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to Aquinas High School in San Bernardino, Redlands Bowl Performing Arts and/or Trinity Episcopal Church in Redlands. Graveside Service will be held on Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 at 1:00pm at Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA
Memorial Garden Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 21st, 2020 at 10:00am at Trinity Episcopal Church, 419 South 4th Street, Redlands, CA. (Corner of Fern & 4th)

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Graveside

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Starts at 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, November 21, 2020

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