2008 Inductee - David C. Padilla


2008 Inductee - David C. Padilla


David was born in Robert’s Island, California on April 20, 1926, to Nicolas and Candelaria Padilla, from Jalisco, Mexico. His family worked in the fields of the Central Valley. His family moved to Stockton in the summer of 1934. He graduated from Edison High School in 1944, and worked as a welder at Stockton’s Pollack Shipyards.

In 1944, David married Rose Munoz, both 18 and in time had 5 children, Anita, Rene, Pattie, Mona, and David Jr. Rose died from cancer and years later David met Florentina Gastelum, with whom he remains happily married. During the 1970’s David served on the Employment Development Board of San Joaquin County and the San Joaquin County Lion’s Club, helping collect food for an orphanage in Guaymas, Mexico. From 1947 to 1968, he worked for Tillie Lewis Foods. He was elected President of Teamsters Cannery Workers 601 in 1969, and appointed its Business Representative in 1968. He served as its President Elect in 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980, and 1984. In early 1980, he and another Teamster gathered and delivered over 17 tons of food to victims of a hurricane in La Paz, Baja California.

In 1983 Governor Deukmejian appointed David to the San Joaquin County Fair Board, serving for over 9 years and in 1984 to the Small Business Administration, where he helped in the selection process of new applicants. Appointed to the Industrial Welfare Commission, David made the motion and cast the final vote recommending a raise of California’s minimum wage in 1947. Benefitting from the minimum wage raise were 800,000 people, of which 50 percent were Hispanic.

From 1987-88, he served as foreman of San Joaquin County’s Grand Jury, and as a Board member of Stockton’s “Crime Stoppers” from 1984-1988. He has also been past president of the Mexican American Golf Association, a member of the Babe Ruth and Semi-Pro Baseball Leagues, manager of the Jack O’Keefe Babe Ruth Program, and manager and commissioner of the Cal-Mex Baseball League in the 1970’s. He retired from the Cannery Workers Union in 1987.