April 1930 – Aug. 2013
La Familia Oseguera de La Cañada regret to announce the passing of Col. Alfonso Oseguera. He was born in April 1930 in Montrose, and passed away Aug. 11 in Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Alfonso was the fourth of 10 children born to Jesus and Braulia Oseguera. He was preceded in death by his siblings Mary, Teresa, Natalia and Richard.
Alfonso was very proud that he attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1947. He was presented his Eagle Scout badge with other notable La Cañada figures John C. Argue, Richard Kiner and Jerry (Carruthers) Ray.
Col. Alfonso Oseguera graduated from John Muir High School in 1948 and John Muir College in 1950. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a seaman recruit in 1947. Called to active duty during the Korean War, he served as a seabee until entering naval flight training at NAS Pensacola, Fla. in 1954. In 1955, as a U.S. Marine Corps second lieutenant and naval aviator he was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron-332, MCAS Opa Locka in Miami, Fla., flying the Douglas AD-6 Skyraider.
Following a 15-month tour in Iwakuni, Japan, he transferred to MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. where he flew C-999 “flying boxcars” with Marine Transport Squadron-252. In 1962, he transferred to NAS Pensacola, Fla. as a flight instructor, followed by his attendance at UCLA where he received a BA in geology.
In September 1965, he served as the Industrial Relations officer at Danang, Republic of Vietnam until assigned to Marine Attack Squadron-224 at Chu Lai, RVN, in July 1966.
Returning to the continental U.S. in October 1966, he joined the Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment, Twin Cities, Minn. as the Operations officer until returning to Chu Lai Airbase, RVN in 1968 where he served as the executive officer, Marine Attack Squadron-121, Maintenance officer, Marine Attack Squadron-211 and as Chu Lai Airbase Services officer. Assigned to MCAS El Toro, Calif. in 1969, he served as the Aviation Safety officer to Marine Aircraft Group-33. He later served as executive officer of Marine Attack Squadron-214 (Black Sheep Squadron) and as commanding officer, Marine Attack Squadron-223 (Bull Dog Squadron). He transferred to Quantico, Va. in 1972 where he completed the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He then returned to MCAS El Toro where he served on the MCAS staff.
In 1974, he became the executive officer of MCAS Yuma, Ariz. While at Yuma and during off duty hours, he earned a master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University. In 1976, he was transferred to the First Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, as the Wing Intelligence officer. Returning to the continental U.S. in 1977, Col. Oseguera became the assistant and later the director, Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980 after 33 years of military service.
His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and two Bronze Star medals with combat V device, 27 awards of the Air Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and a Presidential Unit Citation. Col. Oseguera flew 407 fixed-wing combat missions in his two combat tours in South East Asia.
While stationed at MCAS El Toro, Alfonso would fly his airplane over Dick Coughlin’s gas station in Montrose so that his friends could see his aircraft. With his initials AO painted under its wings, everyone knew that it was him. It was his way of saying hello.
Alfonso was a man who loved a variety of things. One of his biggest passions was searching for the mother lode of gold. He even went to the Yukon to find his payload. In 1995, he began teaching on a regular basis as a substitute teacher in the Santa Bonita School District in Santa Maria. He also would visit the local schools during the lessons about the Gold Rush, bringing in his gold pans and dressing the part to teach the students all about where to find gold and how to pan for it. When the schools had vocation days, one regular question asked was, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Different people came in and would tell the kids what they did and Alfonso would put on his flight suit, helmet and pressure suit and go in and tell great aviation tales of what it takes to be a jet pilot and how exciting it is to swoop through the clouds.
There are not enough words to characterize Alfonso. He was an extraordinary man, one of a kind. He was a true-blue husband, father, brother and uncle. Most of all, he was one tough marine, semper fi.
He was loved and respected by all who knew him, especially in military circles. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife Col. Marie Oseguera; daughters Kristie Daniels, Michelle Neilson, and Lori Kelley; sisters Amparo Balbuena, Maria E. Frias and Rosa Lopez; brothers Benjamin, David and half brother Salvador Oseguera; and countless nieces and nephews.
Visitation shall be held at Los Osos Valley Memorial Park in Los Osos, Calif. today, Aug. 22 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the funeral will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Arroyo Grande, Calif. at 11 a.m. with interment following at Los Osos Valley Memorial Park on Aug. 23.