Obituary: Alfonso Hernandez Palacios

Alfonso Hernandez Palacios graced this earth for 68 years, dying at daybreak March 5, 2024, surrounded by love and prayer. He was a man of integrity, deep faith, generosity, honesty, and loyalty.

This highly regarded gentleman had a large circle of people whom he cherished and who cherished him in return. Very well-educated, he studied engineering, economics and several languages (he spoke about 6 of them) at various universities in Mexico, obtaining his licensure as an engineer.

Alfonso was a life-long student of humanity and culture, especially pre-Columbian Meso-America, which served him well as a tour guide in Cancun and his travels to Brazil.

He was born into humble beginnings to Jose Hernandez and soon-to-be-single mother Consuelo Palacios Hernandez, as the youngest of six children. They were raised by relatives after his mother’s passing.

He now joins his sister and is survived by four brothers and various nieces and nephews.

Although he did not marry or have children, he devoted himself to his niece Graciela (Gabriel) and their daughter Aura. While his interests and knowledge were wide-ranging, including chess, acoustic guitar, ukelele, Indigenous flute, and harmonica, his passions were film and music. Many around him considered him a “walking encyclopedia”.

When he moved to the U.S., he set aside his education and worked as a wildlands firefighter and a laborer in construction and landscaping until he passed, where he was respected for his stellar work ethic.

After work hours he would immerse himself in social service at the Recovery Outreach Community Center (ROCC), serving on the board of directors and getting trained in many areas over the years to serve the unsheltered and those in recovery from addictions and mental illness. After a 33-day hospital stay in (mostly) ICU at Salem Health, he passed away from pulmonary fibrosis, an after-effect of construction dust and contaminants, and smoke from firefighting.

Alfonso was cremated and his ashes will be placed at the foot of his mother’s grave in Mexico City.

Alfonso’s memorial service will be held at the ROCC, 1190 Broadway N.E., Salem, Oregon. All are invited to celebrate his life and share memories of him on Friday, March 22, from 5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donations may be given to Recovery Outreach Community Center in Salem, Oregon.

Descansa en paz, alma hermosa

Alfonso Hernandez Palacios

– Submitted information

GUIDE: Publishing an obituary on Salem Reporter