December 14, 2015
Last week, Dual Enrollment Students from Tucumcari High School hosted a “Website Memorial and Grilled Cheese Sandwich Breakfast” event to unveil the website created in honor of Patrick “Lil Pat” Gonzales. Family and friends of Gonzales, and administrators from Mesalands Community College and Tucumcari High School, attended this special event at the College.
Gonzales was a student at Tucumcari High School and a Dual Student at Mesalands. In October of this year, Gonzales lost his life in a tragic accident. Prior to his death, Gonzales had found a new interest in computers and in technology. This semester he was enrolled in CIS 101: Introduction to Computers, instructed by Michael Bilopavlovich at Mesalands. Following Gonzales’ death, the students approached Bilopavlovich with the idea of developing a memorial website celebrating his life. This website would also give them a platform to share their memories of Gonzales. Bilopavlovich agreed and made this new website their final project for the class.
Josue Grajeda, student at Tucumcari High School and Dual Student at Mesalands, presented the new website during the last week’s website memorial event.
Grajeda read one of the statements on the website that he thought best described Gonzales: “Patrick was always a happy guy. It was hard to make him angry and if you did it was kind of funny! This led him to be friends with almost everyone he met. He was an amazing guy!”
Also during the event, the dual students made Gonzales’ favorite food, grilled cheese sandwiches. They had many different grilled cheese sandwiches at the event, including one with peanut butter for the attendees to try.
Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, President of Mesalands, shared some final thoughts at the event.
“I’m very proud of our students that took it on themselves to honor Pat through a website, that will allow us to remember him for years to come,” said Dr. Newsom.
Gonzales’ mother, Debbie Montano, was very emotional during last week’s event. She said she was very appreciative of the hard work the students devoted to this website.
“I was really touched. I know a lot of kids were affected by my son’s death. He was a good boy and he had a kind heart. He would have given the shirt off his back to help his fellow students and classmates, anyway he could,” Montano said. “I find it just phenomenal that they reciprocated and came together to create this beautiful website in his memory. I hope we can continue to grow the website to keep his memory alive.”
To view the memorial website for Patrick “Lil Pat” Gonzalez, visit: