Ruben Ornedo, 39, of Eagle Rock, was originally scheduled to leave next week. He was a satellite communications engineer for Boeing, and during a lull in an extended Washington business trip, he seized the chance to rush home for a day or two and see his wife of three months, Sheila, who is pregnant.
"He thought it was worth the trip just to see her," said his brother, Dr. Eduardo Ornedo, of Sylmar.
Born in the Philippines, Ruben Ornedo came to the United States with his family when he was in grade school. He graduated from Fairfax High in Los Angeles and got a computer engineering degree from UCLA.
Widely traveled, athletic, fond of hiking and mountain climbing, he was also deep into renovating the house that he and his wife had just bought. One of his "hobbies," his brother said, was going to Home Depot.
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