Obituary of Angel Sotelo (1964 – 2021) – Chowchilla, CA

Reverend Angel Louis Sotelo
August 29, 1964 – August 1, 2021
Chowchilla, California – Reverend Angel Louis Sotelo, pastor of St. Columba Church, Chowchilla, Calif., Passed away on August 1, 2021. He was 56 years old. Father Sotelo was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 29, 1964. He grew up with his family living in San Diego and Parlier. They eventually settled in Hanford, California, where he attended elementary and middle school. He graduated from Hanford High School in 1982. While in high school, he excelled in shorthand and typing and competed statewide. At one point, he was one of the top three fastest stenographers and typists in the state.
In the fall of 1982, Father Angel entered St. John’s Seminary College in Camarillo, California and graduated in 1986. In the fall of 1986, he entered St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California for his theological training. He enjoyed family visits to St. Patrick’s and was a tour guide.
He was ordained on June 29, 1991 at St. John’s Cathedral in Fresno by Bishop Joseph J. Madera. He served in the following parishes: St. Joseph’s, Bakersfield, CA; St. Clement’s, Bakersfield, CA; St. Mary’s, Cutler, California; St. Isidore the Farmer, Orange Cove, CA; Saint-Joseph, Selma, California; St. Mary’s, Visalia, California; Church of the Sacred Heart, Merced, California; Mission Saint-Georges, El Nido, California; St. Columba, Chowchilla, California. While in Visalia he became a dog owner and it was there that his love for German Shepherds began.
Father Angel loved movies and saw many different genres: comedy, horror, and drama. He knew how to cook and it was not uncommon to find baked chicken, chili verde and pozole ready to eat. He has organized many family reunions, especially Thanksgiving. We will miss hearing him say grace and ending it with “Atacar!” Thanksgiving was a donation of animals and the family could bring their dogs. He loved his German Shepherds, Monstro, Princess and Niño, whom we remember fondly. During the last years of his life, he adopted a cat, Kitty, whom he adored and Momma Cat, who was the resident mouse catcher. Her dog Colt remained a faithful companion until the end.
Some of the family memories included a young Fr. Angel playing priest. He was having a glass to drink and to our mom’s dismay, made “hosts” from the bread reserved for our dad’s lunch. He then tied a blanket around his neck for a garment and served mass.
Father Angel was very generous with his family. While visiting his sister in Florida, he took his niece and nephews to Disneyworld. When he dined at the restaurant, he liked to order for you whether you like it or not. He was a master delegate and he had a way of making you help, such as cleaning; washroom at former Ryan Prep Seminary or by helping him fill out thank-you notes.
He loved music and it was not uncommon to hear U2’s Mary J. Blige or Sunday Bloody Sunday playing in his car. He loved to travel and visited Spain and Italy. He enjoyed visiting friends in Southern California and loved the Monterey area where he often went to relax.
He will be sadly missed by many parishioners, old and young. He used social media as a vehicle to educate on religious topics or current events. Facebook will never be the same again.
Father Angel is predeceased by his mother, Thereza C. Sotelo. He is survived by his father, Angel Sotelo Jr .; siblings Mary H. Bumgarner (Kelly), Katherine Ashmore (Michael), Anthony Sotelo, Patricia Sotelo and Teresa Sotelo (Abel); niece Monica DeTonnancourt, nephews Phillip DeTonnancourt, Benjamin DeTonnancourt (Maryssa), Roman Sotelo and great-niece Vivian.
Visitations will be held at St. Columba Church, 213 Orange Avenue, Chowchilla on Thursday, August 12, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A Christian funeral mass will be held at St. Columba Church, Chowchilla on Friday August 13, 2021 at 10:00 am.
Interment will be in Saint-Pierre Cemetery, Fresno.
Condolences and memories can be sent to her sister, Katherine Ashmore, St. Columba Church, 213 Orange Avenue, Chowchilla, CA 93610.

Posted by Fresno Bee on Aug 8, 2021.

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