Smiley Sanchez Hernandez, 69, of Highland, died on Thursday, Dec. 17, at home and after a long battle with cancer. Smiley was born in Loma Linda on July 19, 1951. He was preceded in death by his father, Smiley, his sister Josephine and his brother Danny Hernandez.
Smiley attended Redlands High School, graduating in 1969, and went to San Bernardino Valley College, where he played, and loved, football.
Smiley enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1970. In the Marine Corps, Smiley demonstrated exemplary skills as a marksman, which landed him a position with the state of California Department of Corrections upon his honorable discharge from the USMC.
Smiley worked for the Department of Corrections, spending time working for the Youth Authority, the Fire Camp in Oak Glen and background investigations. He retired in 2007 as a parole agent having achieved numerous awards including Officer of the Year with the Latino Peace Officers Association.
After retiring from the state of California in 2007, Smiley kept busy by attending various sporting events, practices and helping to coach his grandsons. A volunteer and parishioner at St. Adelaide Catholic Church, as well as at Aquinas High School, Smiley could often be found repairing things around the properties.
He enjoyed his commitment as an usher on Sundays. He served on several church committees and was a proud member of American Legion Post 421.
Smiley is survived by his wife of 45 years, Virginia Granillo-Hernandez, his children: Julia Willich (Kelly) of Acworth, Ga.; Teri Montgomery, Highland; Martin Hernandez of San Antonio, Texas; and son-in-law, Ozzie Castro, Highland. He is also survived by his grandsons: Jordan Castro, Gavin and Ewan Montgomery, Jacob, Benjamin, Quintin and Curtis Willich. He is also survived by his mother, Leonor Hernandez; his brother, Rudy Hernandez (Redlands); his "ya-ya" Andrea Milazzo; and his parents-in-law, Sylvester and Vera Granillo of Redlands.
Services will be held as follows, and will be subject to change pursuant to responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic:
A memorial service for the parishioners and families of St. Adelaide Church and Academy will be held at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, at St. Adelaide Church, 27487 Base Line, Highland. Visitation and Rosary will be held at Bobbitt Memorial Chapel, 1299 E. Highland Ave., San Bernardino. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17. Rosary will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17. Mass will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, St. Adelaide Church. Committal Service to follow at 2:30 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery, 3520 E. Washington St., Colton.
Both Mass services will also be live at Stadelaidehighland.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Adelaide Academy.