2007 Inductee - Julian Sepulveda Jr.


2007 Inductee - Julian Sepulveda Jr.

Community Service

“Juliancito” was born on June 30, 1941 in Crystal City, Texas. In 1946 his parents moved to Stockton. He struggled to learn English and keep pace, but working in the fields with his parents caused him to miss so much school, he could not graduate with his class at Edison High. Nonetheless, he persisted, graduating from Schneider Vocational School in 1959.

He then enlisted in the U.S. Marines, stationed in Laos during the Laotian Crisis. There he learned to paint heavy transport equipment. After his discharge, he returned to Stockton, met and married his true love Mary Jane Juarez in 1962. His dream of owning his own business became their common goal. He began working 2 jobs, sometimes 3, while Mary worked in the cannery. The money from his first job would cover living expenses; the rest would one day open the doors of Sepulveda’s Truck Painting and Body Shop.

In the late 1960’s Julian served as a Police Reserve Officer in Manteca, knowing that Hispanics needed representation and fair treatment in law enforcement. In 1974 he left his job as a foreman for Art Pehl Painting to open his own shop, despite those who believed local trucking firms would never trust their equipment to “a young Mexican.” One of PG&E’s servicemen muttered, “I give ‘ya 6 months if yer lucky.” Julian’s shop is still thriving after 32 years! He has given his workers a lasting livelihood, enabled them to purchase homes, further their education, become leaders in the auto industry, teachers, police officers and businessmen.

Julian also worked in Stockton’s Cursillo Movement, becoming its president in 1968. He taught catechism, confirmation classes, and served as a lector at St. Gertrude’s and Presentation Catholic churches. He also worked as a volunteer in Youth Prison Ministry.

In 1983 he became a board member in the Private Industry Council (PIC). He walked precincts and contributed financially to the campaigns of Jose Alva and Steve Gutierrez. He now serves on the San Joaquin County Workforce Investment Board. He recently became a volunteer for the County’s Mediation Board, helping others to settle disputes.