Julian H. Almaraz Jr.

Julian H. Almaraz Jr.In the early morning hours of April 6, 2018, Julian Herrera Almaraz Jr., former Ridgecrest resident, most recently of Evans, Colo., was called back to his heavenly home. He was 67.

Julian was born to Julian S. and Felisiana (Herrera) Almaraz, on May 22, 1950, in Bakersfield. In 1951 the family moved to Randsburg, where they lived for a short time before buying their home in Ridgecrest in 1953.

Julian attended James Monroe School and graduated from Sherman E. Burroughs High School in 1968.

Growing up in Ridgecrest, Julian was active in a variety of sports and activities. At the age of seven, he began racing quarter midgets with the local China Lake Mighty Midget Racing Assoc. He was a member of the Indians, of the Ridgecrest/Inyokern Little League, and the Ridgecrest Junior Archers. Julian was a member of both the James Monroe and Burroughs High School marching bands, playing the cornet. In high school he also participated in track, with pole vaulting his chosen sport. As a young man, Julian returned to his racing roots and began racing dirt bikes at local and out-of-town events.

While still in high school Julian began working at the local Douglas Service Station, where he continued to hone his skills building and repairing engines. He continued to work with engines his entire life and became a master mechanic and owner of Speedy Lube in Ridgecrest, before retiring from business and making his home with his wife in Evans.

Julian was exceptionally talented and loved working with his hands. He was an artist, drawing both cartoon characters and still life. He enjoyed home improvement and refurbished his homes in both Ridgecrest, and Evans. He also rebuilt and painted many vehicles throughout his life.

Julian enjoyed watching NASCAR and taking road trips with Beverley, on their bikes, putting 100,000 miles on his Harley in 10 years.

Julian was a member of Destiny Christian Center in Greeley, Colo., the Christian Motorcyclist Association and the Harley Owners Group.

Julian is often remembered for his gentle nature. He had a heart for people, especially the elderly and those in need. He often donated his time and skill to that cause. Julian was a good-hearted, kind gentleman.

At Julian’s request, he was cremated and will have his ashes scattered in Northern California, at the beloved ranch where he found peace and his life-long love, Beverley, whom he married on Sept. 24, 2005, in Ridgecrest. As he lovingly said to Bev, “Put me on the back of your bike and ride, baby, ride.”

Julian is survived by his wife and soulmate, Beverley Price Almaraz, son Christopher Witty, stepsons, Arnold (Amy) Cantu Jr. and Matthew (Lacee) Cantu, and grandchildren Cameryn Nina, Joshua, Keenan and Corbin Cantu.

He is also survived by his brother, Joe (Brenda) Almaraz; sisters, Maria Almaraz, Virginia (Albert) Torres, Gloria (Jose) Merjil, Sara (Bob) Brown, Julia Almaraz and Flora Almaraz; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Julian was preceded in death by his parents Julian and Felisiana Almaraz and niece Jasmine Brown Franco.

A private family memorial will be held at a later date.

Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain.

— Submitted by the loved ones of Julian Almaraz

Story First Published: 2018-04-27