Gregory (Greg) Hernandez of Midpines, Calif., left this world Sept. 26 surrounded by close family. The world will miss his bright, unique light.
Greg was born Dec. 14, 1962 in San Francisco to JoAnne Belforte and Fernando (Fred) Hernandez. His younger sister, Christine, was born a few years later.
In 1974, his family moved to El Portal, Calif., where they ran a motel, restaurant, bar and offbeat community staple called Cedar Lodge. Greg spent most of his adolescence immersed in the family business and exploring the wild rivers with an equally wild heart.
Greg met his wife and life-long love, Catherine (Cat), as a teenager and shared 42 years together as devoted partners. Together they weathered the ups and downs of life, supported one another to grow as individuals, traveled extensively and raised three children: Lauren, Alaina and Nick.
Greg’s deep passion and vocation lay in feeding others. For over 40 years, Greg worked in the food industry; first at his family’s business, next as a cook for local restaurants, then as a sous chef at the esteemed Elderberry House and finally in the food services for California Corrections, where he worked for 25 years, eventually leading the department as the food manager. His love of and talent for food was legendary, as was his devotion to providing nourishment for his family, friends and community.
Greg was an intrepid explorer, always open to a new physical challenge. He was an avid skydiver and integral member of the Madera Parachute Center family, where he enthusiastically taught newcomers for decades. At various points in his life he dove headfirst (sometimes literally) into skiing/snowboarding, scuba diving, cliff-diving, aikido, CrossFit and spelunking.
The last decade of his life included a yearly trip with his beloved Cat to exotic international locales. He greatly enjoyed straying off the beaten path, discovering hidden gems and immersing himself in new cultures.
Greg was a devoted husband, father, son, grandfather, uncle, cousin, coworker and friend. He loved deeply, lived fully, adventured fearlessly, laughed wildly and brought his infectious zest for life to every situation. He will be remembered by his generosity, warm and gregarious presence, superlative hollandaise sauce, offbeat sense of humor, unconventional approach to life and beaming smile.
Due to concerns around Covid-19, the family has postponed an in-person memorial. Any memorial held at a later date will be announced within the community.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that you vote to honor Greg’s belief in the importance of democracy.