Join us all on today in remembrance of Jose Gabino Aparicio. Jose was gunned down on the corner of 8th and Watkins in South Philadelphia at 4:00am Thursday morning while in route back home from work the night before at Public House. Jose and a close friend were stopping by his brother-in-law’s bakery to pick up bread for the family’s breakfast. “He would always go by there to get us some bread so we would have enough food to eat,” explained Dionica Hernandez, Jose’s wife.
Jose was then confronted by a young black male, early 20′s, demanding to hand over his book bag. After a brief struggle, the suspect pulled a gun and shot Jose 3 times in the back. He fled the scene with a book bag containing nothing but work clothes and a cell phone. Dionica explained, “the reality is that my husband will never walk through that door. Our youngest son will never know his father.”
Jose was rushed to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dionica says she rushed to be at her husband’s side, but didn’t make it there before he died.
For those who do not know Jose very well, Jose was not only a barback at Public House, a cook at Byblos, and a baker at a neighborhood bakery. He was a father of 3, beloved husband of Dionica Hernandez, a son who left Mexico in search of providing a better life for his family, loyal brother of 4, and most importantly, he was a true friend. On top of working 15 hour days, 7 days a week, Jose would find time to spend with friends and family. If you ever had a chance to speak with Jose and get to know him, he was an animal loving, family oriented young man that was stepping up to the plate to better his family’s needs before his own, while keeping a never-ending smile. He would smile for days!
At 16, Jose decided to leave his family’s ranch in Mexico in search of a better lifestyle to provide for everyone. Joining Jose, his brother and sister made their way up to Arizona where they had some close friends of the family. For the next 6 months, they settled and made arrangements to get to New York to meet a distant cousin for work. After making it to New York, Jose lived in Brooklyn for 2 years working in various kitchens and bars, learning the American way of business and lifestyle. Not long after 2 years, Jose and his sister, Juana decided to move to Philadelphia. After arriving to Philadelphia, Jose found a job in a restaurant working as a cook. He also landed another job as a barback at Public House, where we all got to know him so well. Here, he had his wife, Dionica, pack up the kids and move to Philadelphia where they would start a new life.
Even though Jose would lack sleep going to and from multiple jobs, he would always show up on time, perform any task you ask of him, and would always smile with a pleasant “holla” behind it. Jose worked 3 jobs to provide money for his family’s ranch back in Mexico where he would send money back home bi-weekly while providing a sustainable lifestyle for his wife and kids. I know personally one of his goals was to buy a Harley Davidson or a “hog” as he put it, for his father.
Jose’s character and personality should be an example to many of us. Getting closer to Jose not only made most of our lives more enjoyable, but made us cherish each day and to never take our blessings for granted. For those who got to know Jose on a personal level, know that Jose left us in an unfortunate circumstance; however the memories he left behind will never be forgotten.
Please take a minute to donate a generous gift to help the Aparicio’s. They are facing costs to ship Jose back to Mexico for proper funeral services along with providing a sustainable couple months during this tragic period in their lives. Our goal is to provide the same relationship as Jose provided us, a warm, welcoming smile, and open arms to lend a hand in time of need.
God Bless and a sincere Thank You from your Public House Staff!