Julian Gonsalves was born to Ralph Gonsalves and Marie Rodrigues, at home in Hilo, Hawaii, on January 21, 1952. His family moved to Hayward, Calif., two years later. He grew up in the Bay Area, moving with his mother in his teenage years to Lompoc, Calif. Graduating from Lompoc High School in 1964. He married Debbie McConnel in 1976 and they had a son, Jason, in 1979 in Newark, Calif.
His drag racing career began when he was about 19 years old, volunteering for any job at Baylands Drag Strip in Fremont, Calif. As years passed, he worked at all the drag strips on the Pacific Coast for N.H.R.A. He married Gail Hazen, from Livermore, Calif. in 2000. After moving to Ruch, Ore., in 2003, he became the Safety Coordinator at Champion Raceway in White City, Ore.
He was known for his upbeat personality, quick wit, expertise and knowledge of drag racing, dedication to his huge extended family, love of rock and roll and the blues and collecting Native American artifacts and cultural objects.
He will be sorely missed by the Drag Racing community and by his wife, son, family and large collection of friends.
Julian is survived by his son, Jason M. Gonsalves; his sister, Gloria Fisher; 21 nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; and one sister, Rose Gimeno.
His last trip down the drag strip will happen at a celebration of life on Sunday, September 25, at 10:00 a.m., at Champion Raceway, 6900 Kershaw Rd, White City, Dave M. Heisner is officiating. A visitation was held Thursday, September 22, 2011, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, at Conger-Morris Chapel, 800 S. Front St, Central Point, OR, 97502.