Henry A. Munoz Jr. was 50 at the time of his death. He became a firefighter in 2001 and achieved the rank of Firefighter III in his time with Los Angeles City Fire Department. Becoming a firefighter was a lifelong goal, and he was honored to serve his community. He loved his job and enjoyed the many opportunities it provided him.
Helping his community was always a priority. Henry coached youth football for seven years. He had played for the same team as a child and played football all four years in high school. His love of football motivated him to share his knowledge with kids of all ages. With his son Jacob, he worked with St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise money for children’s cancer research. Henry also ran the LA Marathon to support the Widows, Orphans, & Disabled Firefighters’ Fund of LA City Fire Department.
During his career, Henry was honored with a department commendation for saving the life of a man that was unconscious inside a house that was on fire. Had Henry not discovered this individual, the man would not have survived.
Henry had many hobbies. The most prominent of these was his love of driving and working on classic cars. Even before he got his driver’s license, he had saved his money to buy a 1953 Ferrari Red Chevy truck. He favored Chevy vehicles, acquiring a 1967 El Camino, a 1968 Malibu, and a 1969 short-bed truck that he shared with his dad. The final classic he would buy was a 1968 Ford Bronco that he had planned to restore, but sadly was not able to finish. Henry enjoyed outdoor activities, especially motorcycle riding and boating, activities that he had done growing up and wanted to make sure his own family could also enjoy. He started the kids young, at age two, and they worked their way up to dirt bikes or larger quads. He decided to get a side-by-side ATV so everyone could ride together. The boat was another way to have everyone together enjoying the outdoors.
Henry was the oldest of three boys raised by his parents, Henry Sr. and Rosemarie. His brother Joe was two years younger than Henry, and his brother Manny was 16 years younger. Henry took his role as eldest very seriously. He married his wife, Kate, in 1998, and they had three children. Jacob was born in 2000, Jackie in 2003, and Julie in 2005.
Most people would say Henry was their best friend. That’s how he made people feel. It didn’t matter how long you had known him; he had a way of making everyone feel special. His smile and laugh were infectious. He is greatly missed.