Barrón, José "Pepe",
passed to his next life on September 25, 2014. He was born in Dallas, Texas, on April 22, 1935, graduated from Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters Degree from the University of Arizona (always a proud "Wildcat"). He earned his Doctoral Degree from University of Southern California. Pepe was a formidable advocate for the education of our economically disadvantaged children, college age youth in the Tucson Community and the entire country. He committed his professional and personal efforts to the defense of his ideals for social justice for the underprivileged and the underserved. Pepe's pursuit of these ideals and his accomplishments towards meeting them are legion. His enormity of spirit touched the lives of countless people across the U.S.
Pepe's passion for the enforcement of Civil Rights, particularly in the areas of education, health and employment, began during his formative years as a graduate student at the University of Arizona in the mid 1960's. A pivotal point in Pepe's life was his founding of Congreso Nacional de Asuntos Colegiales (CONAC) in Washington, D.C. CONAC became the forum for the promotion of cultural and literary enrichment programs. It also served as a vehicle for mentoring and training 64 Ph.D's in Community College Administration.
Pepe's gift was his ability to engage people from all walks of lifeinfluential politicians (among them President Carter and Senator Edward Kennedy), corporate CEO's from grant foundations, governmental agencies and social service coalitions. In 1971, he founded Luz Social Services, Inc., an agency which provided educational and health services for Southern Arizona. Luz Social Services' success led to the founding of two charter schools, Luz Academy and Adalberto Guerrero Middle School.
Pepe is survived by his wife, Cecilia Bustamante Barrón, his love and partner for 56 years; his daughter, Cecille Barrón Morse (Scott); his son, Eric Joseph Barrón (Kathleen) and his grandchildren, Jonah Jose, Madeline Luz, Camille Leah and Daniel Jose and son-in-law, Gerard Phillips. He was predeceased by his youngest daughter, Jacqui Phillips.
Pepe's many friends and colleagues knew him to be a man of vision, integrity and compassion. He leaves a tremendous void in the lives of those who knew him, worked with him, respected and loved him. He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace!
A Celebration of Life ceremony shall be held in his honor at Saints Peter and Paul Church, 1946 Lee Street (Campbell & Lee Street) Tucson, AZ this Friday, October 3, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to one of Dr. Barrón's favorite projects, the annual cultural event Thanksgiving in the Barrio. Please contact Mary Ornelas, project coordinator at (520) 294-7620 to make arrangements. Arrangements by DESERT SUNSET FUNERAL HOME.