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Heat blamed for death of man fishing at Riverside

By KBell
Aug. 18, 2010 at 3:18 a.m.

Family and friends look over Pedro Gonzales, 56, on the banks of the Guadalupe River at Riverside Park on Wednesday. Gonzales died of an apparent heat-related cardiac arrest while fishing.

Family and friends said Pedro Gonzales died doing what he loved.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gonzales' wife, Gloria, took him to his favorite fishing spot at Riverside Park, just as she did every day.

When she came back two hours later, she found her husband lying next to his fishing pole and tackle box, unresponsive.

Gonzales, 56, died of an apparent heat-related cardiac arrest, said Senior Patrol Officer Joe Valadez, with the Victoria Police Department.

"It was unexpected," his wife said, surrounded by family and friends under the tree where Gonzales died. "I expected to come here and for him to be upset he didn't catch the big one yet."

She said her husband had been determined to catch a six-footer, especially after his four-foot catch this past Saturday.

Gonzales was diligent in his pursuit for the big one, fishing for two hours almost every day, his wife said.

Along the way, he made countless fishing buddies, the family said.

"There were no strangers to him," Gonzales' daughter, Michelle, 38, said. "He made plenty of friends every day on the river."

Gonzales' wife told the story of how her husband once brought home a homeless family of six he met while fishing under a bridge.

"'Nobody goes hungry at my table,'" Gonzales had said.

The couple would have been married 40 years on Halloween. Their daughter said she was planning a surprise party for her parents.

"If anybody lived life, it was him. He lived it to the fullest," she said.

Justice of the Peace Stuart Posey conducted the inquest. Dr. Gustavo Sandigo pronounced Gonzales dead at the scene.



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