Evaristo “Buddy” S. Gutierrez III, 74, of Rockford, Illinois died at home on Saturday, May 27, 2023 from complications of Agent Orange with his wife by his side. He was born to Evaristo Gutierrez Jr. and Maria Sanchez in San Antonio on July 4, 1948.
Buddy is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, sisters Estella Berrelez, Amalia Garcia, special aunt Eudelia Samaniego, brother Alfredo Samaniego and sister-in-law Jane Samaniego.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Susan, children Evaristo S. (Sonny) Gutierrez, IV of Tokyo, Japan, Dustin (Kimberly) Gutierrez of Davis Junction, Illinois, Lisa (Chris) Hickman of Loves Park, IL, Phillip Hickey of Machesney Park, IL, grandchildren Ashton (Joey), Keibu, Brenna, Blake (his main amigo), Brooke, Bella, Emmy, siblings Chris (Diana) Martinez of Rockford, IL, Joe Samaniego of Rockford, IL, Amada (Tony) Villarreal of San Antonio, Adrian (Kathy) Samaniego of Temple, sister-in-law Marcia Samaniego of Piggot, Arkansas, brother-in-law Terry (Sherry Holder) Stephens of Rockford, IL; aunt, Juana (Juan) Vinton of Seguin, numerous nieces and nephews and cousins and friends, mother of his three children Pam (Loveland) Gutierrez of Rockford, IL. His furbabies Leema, Spooky and Peanut.
He moved to Rockford in 1964 from Pearsall. He enlisted in the Marine Corps and served his country from August 1966 to August 1970, serving three tours in Vietnam, receiving a Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one silver and four bronze stars, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze stars, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross Color, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Action Color (First Class), Vietnam Campaign Medal. Buddy married Susan (Stephens) Hickey on March 18, 1998 in Rockford, Illinois.Buddy worked for Chrysler for 14 years before starting at USPS as a letter carrier, retiring in 2005. He owned and operated Gutierrez Income Tax Service for over 30 years. He was also a baseball umpire for the AABC, Boys and Girls Club, IHSA, Roy Gayle, 30 and over league and CPM League earning regional umpire of the year in 1994 from the AABC.Visitation was held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 1 in Sunset Funeral Home in Machesney Park. A Rosary was held at 7 p.m. Visitation was held again at 9 a.m. Friday, June 2 in the funeral home followed by the funeral service starting at 10 a.m. with military honors. A private family burial was held in Sunset Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family to be used in Buddy’s name at a later date.