April 2, 1922 – Dec. 28, 2012
Ricardo “Richard” Rodiles Alvarez peacefully went home to see the Lord on Dec. 28, 2012. A devout Catholic, he spent his final days singing, praying and celebrating Christmas with his proudest accomplishment, his beloved family.
Ricardo Alvarez was born on April 2, 1922 in La Planta, Michoacán, Mexico, the sixth of nine children to Antonio Alvarez and Margarita Rodiles.
On Jan. 1, 1947 he married the love of his life, Evelia Valdez, in Jacona, Mexico. He and his adoring wife shared 66 years of love and faith.
In his late twenties he proudly served as “El Presidente Municipal” of his hometown of Jacona, Mexico.
A dedicated father, in 1955 he moved from Michoacán to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work at the Flag Brothers Tannery and build a better life for his family.
A hard worker, in 1962 Norman Lezin of Salz Tannery asked Ricardo to move across country to set up the Santa Cruz tannery’s pasting unit. Always a loyal gentleman, Ricardo asked his former employer for permission before moving his young family to California to work at Salz Tannery, where he retired in 1980.
After his retirement he realized his dream and became a strawberry rancher in Watsonville, California, where his children and grandchildren spent many memorable days playing in the strawberry fields at Rancho La Lomita.
Ricardo’s finest fruits were his eight beloved children: Tony (Patty) Alvarez, Rico (Lupe) Alvarez, Lilia (Mike) Croghan, Chato (Audrey) Alvarez, Mario (Cheri) Alvarez, Alex (Raquel) Alvarez, Beatriz (Refugio) Flores, Patty (Pete) Garcia. He was lovingly known as “Papa” to his 30 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Rosendo Alvarez, sister Consuelo Perez, brother-in-law Juan Valdez, many nieces, nephews, a very large extended family and many “gran amigos.”
He is preceded in death by his beloved mother, father, three brothers; Antonio, Fernando and Javier; three sisters, Carmen, Catalina, Theresa; one son, Juan Manuel Alvarez; and one grandson Jacob Alvarez.
He had many fond memories of playing baseball and growing up in his dear home of La Planta. Wherever he lived, he enjoyed picnics in the park with his family and friends. His true life’s work was his responsibility towards his family and other countless families in need.
A devoted husband, beloved father, brother, grandfather, and uncle, Ricardo always boasted that he was a very rich man, and by that he meant he was blessed with his one true passion—family. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered by the many lives he touched.
The Rosary/Vigil will be recited at St Patrick’s Church on Wednesday, Jan.2nd at 7 p.m. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church on Thursday, Jan. 3rd at 10 a.m. Mehl’s Colonial Chapel was entrusted with funeral arrangements.
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