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Posted By On November 30, 2008 @ 12:00 am In Obituary | 6 Comments


Raul H. Bustamante, born 12/01/1946 passed over on 11/30/2008 after fighting a 3 ½ year battle against esophageal cancer with determination, dignity and quiet grace. A 3rd generation Phoenician, Raul was the eldest of 6 children born to Raul and Georgia Bustamante. A 1964 graduate of Phoenix Union High School, Raul then obtained his bachelor’s degree from ASU before entering the United States Marine Corps. He attended flight school in Pensacola, Florida and became a CH53 “Jolly Green” helicopter pilot. Upon completing a year’s tour in Vietnam 1971-1972 where he was the recipient of a Bronze Star Device for 1st Air Medal and 27 Air/Strike and Navy Achievement Awards with Combat V, Raul finished his military career at the Yuma Air Station as a search & rescue pilot. He spent the next 29 years at Honeywell formerly Air Research and Garrett where he was a manager and recognized authority on government military contracts. Before retiring in 2001 he was the Manager of Aerospace Intellectual property. He was Chapter President of the National Estimating Society and Chapter President of Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis. He was also on the National Board of Directors for SCEA 1991. Even though Raul was a conscientious and dedicated employee, it should not be forgotten that at heart he was an entrepreneur. He opened a restaurant, obtained his real estate license and owned an insurance agency. After a few years of retirement he returned to the aviation industry at Standard Aero. Raul was the proud father of Matthew and Melissa with his first wife and friend Sheryl Lynn. He completed his family when he married Marion in 1980 and welcomed her daughter Renee as his own. He was the much beloved PoPo to Marissa, Nicholas and Jessica. Raul is survived by his parents Raul & Georgia and his wife Marion. He is also survived by his children Renee N. Lara James, son Matthew and daughter Melissa Kremp Bud, sister Francis Villalobos Henry, sister Lydia Mohr Paul, brother James Bustamante Sharon, sister Rose Jeffery Phil and brother Greg. He is also survived by too many nephews, nieces, and cousins to name. Raul’s joys in life were his family, his friends, travel and an intense love for the game of golf. A great thrill for him was playing the old course at St. Andrews, Scotland as well as courses in Wales, England, Portugal, and many courses around the U.S. He greatly enjoyed his visits to England where he was loved and appreciated by his wife’s family and the many friends he made while there. Raul will be remembered as a man of great integrity, a man who was constantly excited by the next “great idea” and above all a man who valued the ideals of the Marine Corps and the love of his family and many friends. Services will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 909 E. Washington St., on Monday, December 8th. Rosary will be at 10:00 A.M. with Visitation starting at 10:30 A.M. and Funeral Mass at 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers the family is suggesting donations to be made to Hospice of the Valley. Arrangements entrusted to Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd., Phx.

Condolences for the family of “RAUL H BUSTAMANTE”

Condolence from Ken DeHaas on August 8th, 2011 6:58 am

We served together in Nam Lt. Bustamante. I was a Tactical Air Control radioman. You were my CO for about 3 months in 1970 at 2/1 Marines, Camp Lauer. I’ll never,ever forget you. It was a Honor to serve under you. Semper Fidelis My Brother. Ken—Out

Condolence from Ken DeHaas on August 8th, 2011 7:12 am

I’ve been looking for this Marine Chopper Pilot since about 2000. Finally found him last night. Too late—
I was a 2/1 Nam Marine Tactical Air Control radioman.14 operator for short. In early 1971 Lt. Bustamante was our 14 Actual,commanding officer,for about 3 months. All of us had much respect fot this young Marine pilot and regular guy. I recall him telling me once that flying Phantom jets was way easier than flying choppers. He said that jets were basically just controlled power where as helicopters had many controls that needed to be synchronized all at the same time. Not an easy task, unless you happenned to be as skilled a pilot as himself. He always stuck up to max for his air control radiomen.
Rest in Peace My Brother. We Luv Ya. Semper Fi. Ken—Out

Condolence from Ken DeHaas on August 8th, 2011 7:15 am

Another memory of Lt. Bustamante,
Early 1971 at Camp Lauer,2/1 Marines base camp,I got really bad sick. Could hardly breathe,severe coughing spells,extreme fatigue. I was thinking I’m in deep ****. Finally it got so bad I went to the base corpsman around 0200. I banged on the hatch and after a few he opened it. Asked what the hell I wanted. I woke him up. I tried to explain my symptoms the best I was able. He cut me off and told me to come back in the morning. He was going back to bed. I know I wasn’t wounded in action,but hell I wouldn’t have been to see him if I didn’t need help really bad. Well,to make a long story short,I headed off to officers country (officers quarters) and stumbled around in the dark until I found Lt. Bustamante.I woke him up and with barely a pause he was headed to sickbay and the unwilling corpsman,with me struggling to keep up. Bam,Bam,Bam and the corpsman appeared at the hatch again. More awake this time. My Lt. told him to tend to his Marine and to do it NOW !!! Guess what,he did. Turns out I had very severe and crippling Bronchitis. I was out of action for about a month. That’s the kind of Marine Raul Bustamante was. Thank You Lt. Ken—Out

Condolence from Ken DeHaas on August 8th, 2011 7:17 am

Saying Goodbye to Lt. Raul Bustamante in 1971 Nam—

Lt. Bustamante’s last night/day with his 14’s. He was going back to his air wing, HMH-463. He had been at the helm of his small and diverse group of Tactical Air Control radio operators for 3 months. It was time for him to head back to his natural environment. After all, he was Jolly Green chopper pilot. On the eve of his departure as many 14’s as possible were gathered in the 14 hooch, awaiting Lt. Raul. We had beaucoup beer and other party supplies,which will go unamed. All of a sudden, down the walk way lined with **** tubes and up the steps he appeared in our hatch. OOHRAH Lt. !!! Man,we had a farout time !! Talking,laughing,drinking and remembering. I feel that all of us did our best for him. I know that I did. He gave me my Lcpl stripes and gave me 5.0 Pro/Conduct marks. Of course the 2/1 head brass reduced the marks to 4.8 and 4.9. But no matter. I’ll always know what you thought of me and my time in the Nam. Thank You ! Anyway, about an hour or so into the going away party,a GySgt.just barged into our hooch. Wanted to know who the hell was in charge. Seems a get in your fox hole drill was in effect. Our Lt. stepped up and confronted the Gunny. He looked at the Gunny’s stripes and said what seems to be the issue Sgt.? That ****** the Gunny off right away. Our boss explained that this was a special occassion and that we were going to continue— Out stomped the GySt. Well, Lt. Bustamante had a few more beers with his troop and then announced we had better deploy to the fox holes. We gave him no hassle. He was leaving us and we would be left to suffer the consequences for defying the Gunny. Well, what else can I say? And despite common belief, marines do get teary eyed and hug.
Godbye Lt. Raul Bustamante. Semper Fidelis. I’ll always remember you Ken—Out

Condolence from Ken DeHaas on August 8th, 2011 7:19 am

Raul Bustamante,
Another note,
The sad reason I was never able to find Lt. Bustamante, was because I was for all these years spelling his last name wrong in my searches for him. I typed Bustamonte instead of Bustamante. My loss—

Condolence from Matthew C. Bustamante on September 24th, 2011 5:15 am


I am the son of Raul H. Bustamante. The words you have shared in memory of my father, means the world to me!! In all honesty, I am not suprised to hear your kind words. He was the most amazing man anyone could ever meet. The fact that you shared your memories of my father, has touched me more than you will ever know! Knowing my father, I am sure you touched his life as much he did yours!! He was an extremely private and proud man, that had the most profound love and respect for the men he served with! It would be an honor to my father, my sister, and I, if given the opportunity to meet some day. I speak for all of my family by saying, thank you for making his memory an honorable one! Hope all is well with you and your family!!

Matthew C. Bustamatnte

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