James Estrella March 23rd, 1959 - December 9th, 2011 James Estrella was born March 23rd, 1959 in Bronx, New York. His parents were James Estrella Sr and Ernestine Jordan Estrella Rodriguez, who preceeded him in death. He attended DeWitt Clinton in Bronx NY.
James joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school and graduated from bootcamp at the age of 17. In the Marine Corps, James served as Military Police for 8 years 11 months and a Drill Instructor for 2 years 1 month. He was awarded: 6 M-16 Rifle Expert Badge, .45 Pistol Sharpshooter Badge, 2 Pistol Expert awards, and 2 Good Conduct Medals.
His first marriage was while he was in Marine Corps and one child born, Tamica Estrella. After serving 10 years in the Marine Corps James received an honorable discharge and joined the San Diego Police Department. He also taught D.A.R.E program through San Diego City Schools.
He was well loved throughout the community. He served the city of San Diego for 16 years and he was awarded a key to the city after saving a family from a burning building following retirement. During this time James was also a basketball coach and mentored youth throughout southeast San Diego.
He was a notable basketball coach for the AAU team in Paradise Valley recreation, he coached The San Diego Sharks. He coached his youth teams for over 10 years, winning back-to-back championships. He traveled with the kids to Las Vegas, Reno and Los Angeles.
James was an entrepreneur and he had a niche for sales. He enjoyed shopping throughout swap meets, yard sales and thrift stores, finding good bargains for resale. He enjoyed designing custom basketball uniforms and owned a manufacturing business in the Philippines. He recently started a new business called The High School Hoodie, an alternative to the traditional lettermens jacket. This business has been passed down to his daughter Tamica and will continue to grow and flourish.
James enjoyed interacting with people, he was outgoing and loved to laugh. He enjoyed playing cards, hanging out with his friends and watching football. He loved coffee and sitting at Dennys and Starbucks and talking with total strangers for hours and hours, his personality was infectious.
After separating from his second wife, James met his soul mate and best friend Brenda Spears. Brenda and James lived together in Menfiee, California. They shared good times together, they enjoyed eating out together, shopping, and midnight walks around the lake. They lived in laughter together and enjoyed each other's company. He leaves behind to cherish his memory: one daughter, Tamica Estrella of San Diego, CA; two brothers, Michael Estrella of Oceanside, Ca. and Darren Estrella of Chula Vista, CA; one sister, Rhonda Grabowski of Chula Vista, CA; Stepfather, Richie Rodriguez of San Diego, CA; three nieces; and a host of relatives and friends. Tweet