Family of T-shirt shop owner says 'He shouldn't be dead'

Family of T-shirt shop owner says 'He shouldn't be dead'

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - A 68-year-old Odessa man was found dead Monday morning at his T-shirt shop. Police said they're still investigating how he died.

The man was known to the community as "Pepe" and as his family tells us, he'll be missed.

"I just can't believe it. He's gone, he shouldn't be gone," said Freddy Valenzuela, Pepe's nephew. "I can still feel him, he's still here."

Joe "Pepe" Valenzuela left a mark in Odessa.

Freddy tells us "Pepe" had a big heart and always pushed everyone to their potential.

"He would always tell me, don't give up and keep your head up, work hard," said Freddy. "He was always telling me to respect others and they'll give you respect back. Love them and they'll love you back."

A philosophy Pepe carried with him while making T-shirts for the past 10 years, for every occasion. Freddy said he'll miss talks with "Pepe" the most and if the person who did this to his uncle is watching, Freddy hopes they turn them self in.

"Y'all did something real bad, y'all took somebody away from me," said Freddy. "That's my uncle, he showed me a lot, y'all shouldn't have taken my uncle away."

When asked what "Pepe" would want the community of Odessa to know, Freddy said, "That he will always be here, no matter what, and y'all don't be sad."

Freddy said over the past few years "Pepe" missed his mother very much after she passed away and will be happy to be reunited with her.

"Pepe's" family said he was originally from Alpine and will most likely be buried there next to his mother.

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