Santos Ruiz and Sergio Tapia, two Long Beach men related by marriage, died within two days of each other. And their relatives — the Ruiz and Cortez families — are seeking money to pay for their funeral expenses.

Ruiz died on Nov. 18 from health issues, according to his daughter-in-law, Marissa Ruiz. Tapia, Marissa’s cousin, was struck and killed Nov. 20 by two vehicles in a bicycling accident on the Vincent Thomas Bridge. Tapia died at the scene.

Ruiz created a website to raise $15,000.

“These two men were taken too soon from this earth,” Marissa Ruiz says on the GoFundMe website. “They both were two of the most giving and helpful men that I had the privilege of knowing.”

To donate, visit

—Emily Thornton

Emily is a staff writer covering higher education and other various topics for Gazette Newspapers. She has a background in weekly and daily newspapers and a bachelor’s in communication from La Sierra University.

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