He loved his comics and “The Lion King” almost as much as he loved his kids.
“He could literally recite every single line of the movie,” his wife, Lluvia Velez, said. He could imitate the voices, too.
Jorge Botello knew the back stories of every character of the comics he read, especially Batman. He was a big, 33-year-old kid, she said.
Botello was driving his black Dodge pickup Saturday night to a local In-N-Out Burger, looking to grab food for his pregnant wife and two children.
He never came home, as a Jeep Liberty crossed the median and hit his pickup about 11 p.m. near Stephanie Street and Russell Road. The Jeep rolled onto its roof and caught fire. He and the Jeep occupants, Danny Stewart and Brande West-Stewart, all died. Speed was believed to have been a factor, police said. Ironically, Danny Stewart was a friend of Botello’s.
Family members knew it was his pickup when they saw the big, yellow Batman symbol in the back window.
“He was the greatest guy that you ever could’ve met,” Velez said.
When he wasn’t working at JJ’s Boulangerie inside of Paris Las Vegas, Botello was at home with his kids and wife. They were his world, Velez said.
He chose to spend time with his family in lieu of hanging with friends. Velez joked he was the better parent because of his innate ability to relate to their 5-year-old and 2-year-old boys, Aiden Anthony and Aric Loki.
“Family was everything to him, and he was everything to his family,” she said.
He operated on their level of imagination and knew the right toys to buy — there were boxes and boxes and boxes of them inside their place, Velez said. Some of them belonged to his kids.
She joked others were “forbidden” from touching his wrestling and “Walking Dead” figurines.
Velez said she’s going to miss watching her husband kiss and tickle their kids before bed.
“Everybody knew he was the greatest daddy ever,” his 30-year-old brother, Roberto Botello, said.
Velez insists the couple hadn’t spent a day apart since they met 10 years ago this month. They went everywhere together; her husband getting food without her was a rare exception.
They’d schedule their breaks at work so one could visit the other.
Botello and his two brothers grew up watching “Dragon Ball Z” and wrestling, sometimes jumping and breaking tables like the wrestlers they watched.
If he wasn’t wearing a white shirt with khaki shorts, 26-year-old Alejandro Botello said, he was wearing a Batman or Captain America shirt.
His most recent obsession was “Game of Thrones,” Velez said. He would read up on all of the leaks and knew the plot as far as five or six episodes ahead.
“It was so annoying to watch things with him because he already knew what was going to happen,” she said.
All three brothers were friends with Stewart, who was believed to be driving the Jeep that hit Jorge’s pickup. They met him a couple of years ago, Alejandro Botello said, and they would go to Stewart’s house and play video games with him. At one point, Stewart gave Alejandro’s best friend a key to his house so they could help take care of a dog.
“Wow, what are the odds of that happening?” Alejandro said.
Velez said she recognizes the crash wasn’t intentional, “but nonetheless it angers me and makes me sad …”
Their 2-year-old doesn’t understand why his daddy isn’t taking him to the park anymore, she said. Their 5-year-old seems to know he’s not coming back, but she’s not sure he gets why.
Velez said it was a blessing she wasn’t in the car with him Saturday night. Otherwise, her family would’ve lost her and her unborn baby, she said.
The couple had previously decided on a name, but that’s changed since Saturday. On Nov. 27, she’s expected to give birth to Jorge Batman Botello.
Services for Jorge Botello
Services are scheduled for next weekend at Davis Funeral Homes and Memorial Park, 6200 Eastern Ave. His wife said all are encouraged to attend.
A viewing is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 27. A mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 28, and his funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. later that day.
The family has set up a donation site to help pay for expenses while his wife, Lluvia Velez, is out of work taking care of her newborn.