from the San Francisco Chronicle

Hells Angels touched by a mentor

Mourners console each other after the funeral for slain F... The club's funeral procession for Mark Guardado makes it'... Mourners console each other after the funeral for slain F... Hells Angels chapters from around the world help bury the... More…

(09-15) 18:41 PDT — Papa’s final ride was a Viking funeral, his body borne to his final resting place by a river of chrome and thunder.

Mark “Papa” Guardado, 46, was killed Sept. 2 outside a Mission District bar. At the time, he was president of the Frisco Hells Angels, royalty of the outlaw biker realm. He was shot to death, police say, by Christopher Ablett, 37, of Modesto, a member of the rival Mongols Motorcycle Club, whose bad blood with the Hells Angels goes back in history. Ablett is still being sought.

But there was little talk of the Mongols as the Hells Angels gathered to remember Guardado at a vigil Sunday night and funeral Monday morning; little more than a passing, irritated reference to a Sonoma County prosecutor who had charges pending against Guardado stemming from a bar fight and who called him a dangerous gang member with an assault conviction on his record.

Instead, those gathered remembered their Guardado, the friend or surrogate father, the man who many said bought them their first Harley-Davidson – or helped them get the job they needed to buy their own.

“To me, and everyone that knew him, he was the epitome of Hells Angels,” said Richard Goldammer, who rode from his home in British Columbia to honor the man he called his mentor.

“He set an example for a lot of people, being straight up, honest and respectful to everyone,” he said. “People form their own opinion about our club … we are who we are. We stand in our own social circle.”

It is a circle with many intersecting rings that pulled together in Daly City for what many hailed as an event of unprecedented scale.

[ click to read full article at the Chronicle ]