Family remembers life of Phoenix's 1st Hispanic postmaster, who died from COVID-19 complications

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Family members are remembering the legacy of Phoenix's first Hispanic postmaster.

Humberto "Junior" Trujillo, who was born and raised in the Valley, has died due to COVID-19 complications. Trujillo, 61, never retired, and was about to turn 62 in September 2020.

On July 16, FOX 10's Justin Lum spoke with Trujillo's family via Zoom. For them, it was so important to have Trujillo's eight grandkids on as well, as he believed in family first. While the family is grieving his loss to the deadly virus, they also know Trujillo lived a full life.

"He was someone who pushed you constantly. He was really, really funny. He's hilarious. He always pushed us to be the best that we could be," said Mikayla Galindo, Trujillo's daughter.

Galindo knows her father as the family motivator.

"I know he loved us a lot, and we love him and we're gonna miss him," said Jaxon Rideau, Trujillo's grandson.

Galindo called her father's work ethic admirable.

"Where he just grew up from a single mom off of 16th Street and Roosevelt, and it's just an amazing story to see what he's overcome and how he just pushed through," said Galindo.

Trujillo, who worked 31 years for the United States Postal Service, became Phoenix's Postmaster in 2015. At the time, Trujillo spoke with FOX 10 about how he helped build the post office near Van Buren and 48th Street before joining USPS.

"I am a brick builder by trade, and it's funny because now I built the building, I actually worked in the building," said Trujillo, during the 2015 interview. "It took about a year in 1994. I worked the back, I worked in the front, and now I'm working in the building as a postmaster."

Trujillo began his COVID-19 battle a month ago. Galindo says the roller coaster of symptoms and complications ended her dad's life on July 15.

"The nurses held his hand, and one sang 'Amazing Grace,'" said Galindo. "It just showed us how caring the staff is too."

The suffering ended with a goodbye over FaceTime, and a final message to her father.

"You're gonna be OK, and we're gonna be OK," Galindo recounted. "Just 'cause I know being a dad and a grandfather, I'm sure that's what he's worried about is are they OK."

A procession for Trujillo was held on July 28 in Phoenix. The procession route began at Saint Agnes Catholic Church, then went past the Post Office Trujillo served at near 48th Street and Washington before ending at the cemetery.

USPS issues statement

Officials with the United States Postal Service issued a statement on Trujillo, which reads:

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our own leaders. Humberto "Junior" Trujillo was the Postmaster of Phoenix, AZ, and was a 31- year veteran of the Postal Service. Phoenix was his hometown and he rose through the ranks to eventually lead thousands of Postal employees. He served his community with dedication and distinction. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. The Postal Service is offering employee assistance services to his family and coworkers."

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RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

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