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More than $4,400 raised for family of musician Ramon ‘Chunky’ Sanchez

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Ramon "Chunky" Sanchez. (Photo by Tom Pich, National Endowment for the Arts.)

SAN DIEGO — More than $4,400 had been raised as of Wednesday to assist the family of local musician and activist Ramon “Chunky” Moroyoqui Sanchez, who died in a San Diego hospital Friday, two days before his 65th birthday.

Memorial services for Sanchez, a cofounder of Chicano Park in the Barrio Logan neighborhood and member of its steering committee, include a public viewing from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday at Centro Cultural de la Raza, a prayer service at the Chicano Park Kiosko at 11:30 a.m. Saturday followed by a private procession and burial, and a celebration of life at noon Sunday at Chicano Park.

Sanchez was born to Blythe farmworkers Josefina Moroyoqui and Ramon Sanchez Oct. 30, 1951, and had lived in San Diego since the 1970s. He is survived by his wife, Isabel Enrique Sanchez, and children Ixcatli, Ramon, Esmeralda, Mauricio and Tonantizin, 15 grandchildren and a great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his son, Fernando Julio Sanchez, who died in 2010.

Sanchez cofounded the musical group Los Alacranes. Family members said the band’s “Chicano Park Samba” expressed “the struggles and self- determination of the Chicano community in taking over and creating Chicano Park.”

He also worked as a teacher, Little League coach and a director of a youth center, according to his family. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2013, and performed at United Farm Workers rallies, sometimes at the request of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

Throughout his life, Sanchez championed civil rights, and through his music provided prospective on “the bicultural experience,” according to a GoFundMe page raising money to help his family with funeral costs.

The longtime San Diegan was also a die-hard Chargers fan, who was wrapped in his Chargers blanket while on life support, according to a statement from the team. Team officials credited him with influencing the Chicano Park steering committee to support Proposition C, the Chargers’ proposal for a stadium in the East Village.

The cause of death was not reported.