BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Local business leader Jose Arredondo is being remembered for his contributions to the community, and his rags to riches success story.
Family and friends gathered together at the Seventh Day Adventist church to say their final goodbye to Arredondo. Those who had a chance to know Arredondo said he wasn't always a prominent car dealership owner in Bakersfield.
"Jose was a rags to riches story right, rags to riches! He lived with his mother in LA in very poor tenement type housing. He went and got a job washing cars to help the family," Jose Arredondo's friend Joe Cardinale said.
Arredondo was born in Michoacan, Mexico and was one of 11 children.
However, the life of the self-made family and businessman was cut short at 59 years old last week, when he died during a trip to his home in Cabo San Lucas.
Family members said he was a philanthropist who devoted his life to helping the poor.
They said he provided scholarships to students in need and took pride in supporting local charities in Kern County.
Friends said that during the height of his career, Arredondo owned eight dealerships total in Kern County.
Friends who attended the funeral shared his unique imprint on their own lives.
"There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they are gone the light remains and that is Jose, Jose was my friend and I loved him," Cardinale said.
Family members keeping his light alive through a difficult time by sharing a side to him many grew to know and love.
"Because I had the opportunity of him being a part of my family when he married my sister. Jose was a simple man of noble and kind heart," Jose Arredondo's sister-in-law Elizabeth Camacho said.
During his funeral, pictures spoke a thousand words about his family and social life.
Those close to him also used their words to highlight what he held closest to him outside of his dealership.
"Faith and family that was Jose right, everyday faith and family," Cardinale said.
After the funeral family and friends made their way to Green Lawn Cemetery to bury Arredondo.
So far very few details have been provided about Arredondo's death and the investigation is still ongoing.