In Memoriam: Influential San Diegans We’ve Lost in 2016

Take a look back at the people we've lost in 2016, including politicians, artists and other public figures.

16 photos
NBC 7 San Diego
Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez, a musician and cultural leader of San Diego’s Chicano community, died in October 2016. Sanchez, who attended San Diego State University and considered himself a “barrio-ologist,” was known by many in the Chicano community as a “hero of the barrio.”
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Keating IV, 31, of Coronado, California was shot and killed by ISIS fighters in Mosul, Iraq in May 2016. The 31-year-old wanted to be buried at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery close to his beloved SEAL Team One instead of Arlington National Cemetery.
University of California, San Diego
Roger Tsien, a University of California, San Diego professor who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry, died while on a bike trail in Oregon in August. Tsien, 64, was a professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego's School of Medicine for 27 years.
Hall of Famer Earl Faison (pictured here on Dec. 21, 1961) played for the Chargers from 1961-66 and earned the nickname "Tree" because when he got anchored on the defensive line he was awfully difficult to move. Faison, 77, died in June 2016.
Photo courtesy Prebys Family and Scripps Health
San Diego billionaire Conrad Prebys, the noted developer and philanthropist, was considered one of the most generous people in the world. He died in July at the age of 82.
Getty Images
Jockey Garrett Gomez celebrates atop Beholder after winning the Juvenile Fillies during the 2012 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park on November 2, 2012. Gomez, 44, was found dead in an Arizona hotel room in December 2016.
Facebook group Celebrating the Life of Bill Beck
Bill Beck, a leader in the San Diego lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, died in February 2016 . Beck, 74, was called a “true pioneer in LGBT rights in San Diego” by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. He dedicated his time to raising money for AIDS research and fighting for equality but he was also a force in San Diego politics.
Carmel Mountain Ranch resident and former NFL coach Dennis Green died in July 2016. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Green earned a head coaching job in the pros at a time when there were few African-American candidates interviewed for those spots. He went on to lead the Minnesota Vikings beginning in 1992 and the Arizona Cardinals from 2004 to 2006.
Billy Ortiz
Experienced horse trainer and member of the Escondido Mounted Posse, Diana Cavender, 52, was riding to a staging area after the Lakeside Western Days Parade when she was killed in April 2016. Cavender’s horse spooked and fell, knocking her off.
Officer Frank Schmidt (left) and partner Louis Lipps circa 1946. Badge number 373, Schmidt patrolled San Diego until his retirement in 1967. The oldest San Diego Police Department retiree and first officer to make it to 100 years old, Schmidt died in December at the age of 103.
Courtesy Mulgrew Family/Facebook
Robert Mulgrew, an English teacher at The Bishop's School in La Jolla since 2003, died in August 2016 while on vacation with his family. School administrators said Mulgrew, who served as the girls' basketball team coach, was "beloved by everyone at the school."
Larry Gordon Facebook
A paddle out was held in honor of surfing visionary Larry Gordon on January 18th. Gordon, 76, died on New Year's Day 2016.
Aaron Espinoza
Kevin Christopher "The Monster" Randleman (R) was in the San Diego area training and attending an event when he collapsed and died in February. Randleman, 45, was a champion Mixed Martial Arts fighter who did a lot to help veterans and bring light to PTSD after combat.
Sector 9 Skateboards/Facebook
A photo of skateboarder Victor Earhart posted on Facebook by the San Diego-based company, Sector 9 Skateboards. Considered a legend by many, Earhart, 70, was killed in a car crash in late November 2016.
Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34, died in October 2016 from injuries suffered by an "improvised explosive device," or roadside bomb, officials said.
Family Photo
Ryan Wilcox, 18, drew strength from the superheroes in the "Captain America" film while battling cancer. The Grossmont HS student was remembered by friends and family when he passed away in September, four months after meeting the stars of the film in his La Mesa home. The Wilcox family shared these photos of the Super Hero visit from May 2016. We'll always remember you, Ryan. #RyanStrong
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