JOSE OCTAVIO MIRELES; September 3, 1950 – May 7, 2023
It is with great sadness that we announce that Jose, loving husband, father, son, uncle, brother, and friend passed away peacefully at home in his sleep, May 7, 2023 at the age of 72. He left behind his wife, Sylvia, of 32 years of marriage, and his two sons, Cristian and Diego.
The countless things Jose accomplished in his extraordinary life and the innumerable lives he touched will stand as reminder that he “was here.” Jose was born in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico but would later proudly become a naturalized U.S. Citizen. A the young age of 9, his family would come to reside in his beloved childhood town of Sebastopol in Sonoma County where he went to school. He played baseball, football, and soccer. When he tried to enter a soccer team, they rejected him. He couldn’t take no for an answer, so naturally, like the leader he was to become, he formed a team of his own. Not only was his team great, they won the championship! His father managed several acres of land where they grew the best known apples around the county. He became his right hand until he left to attend college at UC Davis, Chico State, Sonoma State and later decided to come to San Diego State University.
Before leaving the bay area, in 1973, at the age of 23, he helped found KBBF-FM in Santa Rosa. NPR’s first bilingual public radio station in the United States, serving numerous counties in Northern California. Mrs. Ethel Kennedy attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, where she did the cutting and was the firs to give the station their considerable contribution.
Later, Jose came to his beloved San Diego. When he arrived at San Diego State University, he was sought out by PBS General Manager, Paul Steen for his remarkable work at KBBF-FM and was offered a job at KPBS-FM hosting a morning Spanish language broadcasting show. At the same time, he secured funding from Corporation for Public Broadcasting to produce and nationally distribute Enfoque Nacional, National Public Radio’s first Spanish-language weekly newsmagazine. It lasted from 1979 – 1988. There, Jose met and hired Sylvia, his administrative secretary whom he would fall in love with an later marry. She gave him his two most cherished treasures, Cristian and Diego.
After about 12 years, he left SDSU and established Latino Builder Industry Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Latino construction workers and small business construction companies with large scale development contracts. Jose had a part in the development and construction of San Diego’s beautiful Petco Park.
He was Vice-President of the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
In 2001, the State of California Lieutenant Governor, Cruz Bustamante, gave Latino Builders Industry Association a commendation for their efforts and commitment in producing and providing a quality magazine for an underrepresented facet of the construction industry: Latino Builders Magazine. With hard work and diligent efforts it brought wealth of information to the foreground and provided meaningful insights to the construction industry.
In 2006, he was a member of the National City Chamber of Commerce.
Jose was part-owner of KQED-FM.
He also had part ownership of KZTC-TV. He secured a million dollar contract for the station.
Jose’s favorite pastime was playing his buffalo machines of roulette at the casinos and placing bets at Del Mar Racetrack and he would undoubtedly always win. He was incredibly lucky.
Jose was a humble man and never lived extravagantly. He loved San Diego and his home. He cherished his family above all. He was very respectful towards his parents. He shared many laughs and anecdotes with his siblings, aunts, cousins and in-laws, nephews and nieces. That love grew exponentially when he married and became a father.
Our hearts are broken and words could never express how much he will truly be missed. His memory will live on forever… in those he loved and in those who loved him.