By Stacie N. Galang
The man who embodied King Neptune at San Clemente’s Ocean Festival from 1994 to 2006 passed away November 23 from heart complications. He was 72.
Every year for 12 years, Vince Baca donned the white toga-style costume, golden cape, crown and trident for the two-day event at the Pier. Baca gave up the role when he and wife Dorothy “Dottie” Baca moved to Yorba Linda in 2006 as his health declined.
The move brought the couple nearer to family and to a single-story home, she said.
Dottie Baca said her husband of 24 years enjoyed being around the children most when playing King Neptune. It was his job to lead the annual mermaid parade, among other duties.
“His love of children was unbelievable,” she said. “It was really, really unending.”
Vince Baca had a knack for the theatrical, too, and the role allowed him to tap his creative side, she said. When not playing the Roman god of the sea, he enjoyed singing show tunes to his wife.
He was born in Los Angeles August 30, 1939 and lived in various Los Angeles and Orange County communities throughout his life. He is a graduate of Franklin High School in Northeast Los Angeles, and attended local community colleges.
The couple moved to San Clemente at the urging of friends and enjoyed their coastal lifestyle in Presidential Heights.
“He loved it in San Clemente because we had an ocean view,” Dottie Baca said.
In addition to his spouse, Vince Baca leaves behind nine children, 15 grandchildren, one great grandchild and a brother Gene Baca.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 3 at 11 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel of Rose Hills Cemetery, Whittier.

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