It is a sad day for many today, as we lost one of the most beautiful people I have ever had the good fortune to know and be able to call a friend. Our co-worker and graphic designer Ruben Cota passed away just before we went to press after losing his battle with cancer. He was only 55 years old and left us way too soon.
For those of us that knew him, we had the pleasure of his acquaintance and company. My wife and I met Ruben over 20 years ago, when we were working at the Monterey Herald. He shared the same job in the creative services department as my then future wife, Kelli. They hit it off right away as they both were funny and shared a love of music, photography and art, as well as family.
When visiting Ruben at his home a couple weeks ago, the two of them were reminiscing about getting in trouble in the office for singing and whistling and of all things laughing and being happy. This was the only way to combat the less than stellar working conditions and they did it well.
Way back then, and to this day, they both called each other, “Punkin.”
When a position opened up here at Carmel Magazine and I was able to bring him aboard as one of our graphic designers, he brought his same funny, laid back and perfectionist self to us during the many years I had the pleasure of sharing an office with him. He added something special to my days. He was usually in before me and I get in early. He was upbeat and happy most of the time and it just makes life better to be around people who are positive and happy.
His undeniable love for his wife and three children was always apparent. His sense of pride for his kids was genuine for good reason as they are amazing kids. It’s a testament to Carrie and Ruben and their abilities to raise their children in such a loving and supportive household.
I personally will miss our almost daily discussions about the San Francisco Giants, the Warriors and the Niners, as well as our takes on life in general and the day to day trials and tribulations we all have. Most of all, I will miss him for the rare person he was. One of a kind. I loved him so much as did my wife and many other people that were touched by his gentle and kind ways.
Our hearts go out to his family and friends and as I frequently say in these columns, enjoy every day and enjoy being with the people you really care about as you never know when they will be gone or you will be gone.
One of the last things Ruben said to me after telling me he loved me was that his treatments were in a holding pattern and “If they don’t come up with something, I will just be going to a better place.” Rest in peace my friend and know that you were truly loved.