Missed and remembered: SRJC All Star Fermin Murrillo-Gonzales

Domanique Crawford, Staff Writer

Many members of the SRJC community were heartbroken upon hearing the news that co-worker, friend and former SRJC student Fermin Murrillo-Gonzales died on Oct. 23 from causes still under coroner’s investigation.
Murrillo-Gonzales was involved in the community and many programs at SRJC and left many memories all over campus.
“His life has forever touched our hearts and also this place we call Santa Rosa Junior College,” Manager of Grounds and Recycling Carl Dobson said.
Murrillo-Gonzales graduated with a Pharmacy Technician Associates Degree in the Spring 2011 semester. As an ESL student Murillo-Gonzales helped other ESL students find programs and scholarships to help graduate. He started off as a student in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program; his first language was Spanish.
“Along the way he touched many lives throughout the district,” Dobson said. “I heard many stories about how he helped new ESL students navigate their way through the sometimes difficult world of classes, testing, programs, paperwork and scholarship opportunities that they had little experience with. He really had a big heart.”
Murrillo-Gonzales was awarded the Disability Awareness Award (DAA). The DAA award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding awareness and concern for the needs of students with disabilities.
“I remember Fermin when he received his DAA award. I admired his tireless efforts in learning English, mth, computers and whatever he could do. I was thrilled to see him occasionally working on the grounds of our campus,” said Cindy Avenell an SRJC adjunct instructor. “I will never forget his smile, quiet manner, and gratefulness to all the instructors. He was a real gentleman.”
Many described Murrillo-Gonzales as a nice guy, hardworking, caring and a sweet soul. “I am so shocked and deeply saddened by this news. Fermin was an outstanding student of mine in Anatomy 140 and always had the most genuine and sweet disposition,” Barbara Nuss, an SRJC adjunct faculty member said. “He was willing to help fellow ESL students in the class, and better understood the course work in such a way as to provide a better understanding for those students. I will miss him immensely and will cherish the red rose gift he made for me that graces my desk.”
A memorial service for Murrillo-Gonzales is set for noon Nov. 8 on the graduation lawn between Burbank and Pioneer Halls.