Beloved Phoenix postmaster Humberto 'Junior' Trujillo dies from COVID-19 complications

Posted at 5:57 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 08:57:44-04

PHOENIX — Loved ones are mourning the loss of Humberto “Junior” Trujillo, the Phoenix postmaster who died Tuesday night from complications due to COVID-19.

Trujillo was sworn in as postmaster in January 2015. He worked for the United States Postal Service for 31 years, beginning as a mail handler on the night shift and working his way up. Prior to his USPS career, he worked as a mason foreman in the Valley and helped construct the post office facility near Van Buren and 48th streets that he would later go on to lead.

“He was never afraid to take a job,” Trujillo’s daughter, Nicole Rideau, told ABC15. “He never thought that he wasn’t smart enough or good enough,” she said. “He thought, 'if I don’t know how to do that job, I’m going to learn it.'”

Rideau and her older sister, Mikki Galindo, said their father was raised by a single mother in a Phoenix housing project. They described him as “invincible,” always willing to take on a challenge no matter the odds and pushing both women and their brother to “give 110%” in all aspects of life.

“He made us believe, all the time, you’re the best — you can do anything — you can be anything,” Galindo said. Both women said they will always remember their father’s humor, his ability to “make anybody laugh” even in the most challenging times, and his unwavering faith in God.

Last month, Trujillo tested positive for COVID-19 and, over the course of three weeks, he was in and out of the hospital. Rideau described her father’s condition as “unpredictable.” At times, he appeared fine and, at one point, exhibited conditions similar to a heart attack and was rushed again to the hospital. After doctors exhausted other possible treatments, Trujillo was placed on a ventilator before passing away Tuesday night.

“Even the last week … he was telling all of us, ‘You need to go to church, OK?,'” Rideau said. “'Please go to church, please keep praying for me.'”

Outside of work, his family said Trujillo was passionate about coaching youth sports, especially basketball, even when his children were not participating.

A spokesperson for USPS released the following statement to ABC15:

"As a follow up, before his time with USPS, Junior was a masonry foreman who helped build the Phoenix Main Post Office at 4949 E Van Buren St. His is a story of success, going from laying the foundation of a building, to joining the organization that commissioned it and rising through its ranks to become a high level executive, leading the team at the very Post Office he helped build."