Former Lompoc City councilman and mayor Joe Valencia passed away Saturday, July 23 after a long battle with an undetermined illness. He was 83 years old.
City officials did not released the illness the former mayor suffered from but issued the following statement:
Valencia, who was 83, was a Lompoc City Councilman from 1976 to 1985, and served as Lompoc Mayor for one year from 1978 to 1979. While Valencia was serving as mayor, he oversaw the dedication of the city hall building at its current location, 100 Civic Center Plaza.
In addition, Valencia was a commissioner on the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission from 1998 to 2013. He volunteered his time and services in many ways in the community, including spending decades with the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce. Valencia was honored as the Chamber’s Man of the Year in 2013. His greatest joy was his family, including his wife Rachel and their five children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Lompoc Mayor Bob Lingl said he had been friends with Valencia and his wife for many years, and considers Valencia a great mentor. “Lompoc lost a true leader. Mayor Valencia will be missed by all of us that knew him, and all of us whose lives he touched serving our city,” Lingl added.
The community is invited to join in a celebration of Valencia’s life by attending his memorial service this Sat. July 30 at 11 a.m. at Lompoc Methodist Church, 925 North F St. A reception will immediately follow in the church’s fellowship hall.