Oscar, hermano.

()photo from Si Se Pudo Graduation, 2009)

Words cannot express the lives you impacted throughout decades of selfless service to not just Oregon State University, but students everywhere. Arriving to OSU in 2001, I knew only a few people, but you empowered many through your humbleness, your love of mentoring and coaching, and your love for ensuring all of us first-generation college students believed we belonged at the university. That migrant students belonged.

Our friendship didn’t just stop when we first met at Kalmekak Festival, or when I visited EOP or during MEChA Nationals at OSU, or even the many times we shared knowledge in your office. Behind the scenes you did so much, but you led from the front.

After college, you were there for us when we launched the OSU Chicano/Latino Alumni Association because you cared where we were post-college as well. That connection between the student and the graduated. It was always great to always see your huge smile during Si Se Pudo Graduation events. You embodied what was possible. That anyone no matter where they came from could reach their dreams.

A few years ago my buddy, Gerardo Ochoa, put a team together to compete in the Chicanos of Oregon Golf Association Jalapeño Tour. Man you had quite a swing. As you already know, we’ll keep swinging in your honor.

Oscar, we will miss you sorely at all the events and ceremonies celebrating the closing of one chapter and the opening of the next. But we know you will be with us every step of the day.

Until we meet again, Oscar.

Friday, October 21, 6:07 pm PDT update: Oscar is no longer on life-support and is breathing fine on his own. He’s still at OHSU. Our plan is to visit tonight, this weekend. Keep praying for Oscar.

Saturday, October 22, 1:42 am PDT update: Sadly, Oscar did not make it. Please keep his family and son, Victor, in your prayers and thoughts. Rest in peace, brother.

Thursday, October 27, 1:00 pm: A service will be held at St. James Catholic Church in McMinnville, Oregon to celebrate the life of Oscar Montemayor. Burial services to follow.