It is with deep sadness and the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Manuel Ruiz Villa, age 85, of Las Cruces on Monday, December 28, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. He was born on June 28, 1935 in Clovis, New Mexico to Jesus and Natividad Ruiz Villa.
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Those left to mourn his passing are his wife of 63 years, Merced R. Villa. He was a devoted and loving father to Gerald Villa, Gabriel Villa, Graciela Gabaldon (Stephen), Geraldine Villa Fountain, Christopher Villa (Terri) and Elizabeth Eres (Robert). He was also the best grandpa and great grandpa to Fatima Jimenez, Angelic Villa, Steven Gabaldon (Sarah), Joey Gabaldon (Leslie), James (Cesia), Chris, Jeffrey Otero, Anna Larkin (Jonathan), Sean Fountain, Daniel Eres, Tony Eres, Elian Morales, Christopher, Jonathan, Jacob, Natalie & Naomi Villa and great grandchildren Jonathan, Philipe, Abby, Sophia, Willow, Ian, and Vincent. Other survivors include brothers: George (Lucy), Jerry (Belma), Pete (Debbie), Sammy (Elva); sisters: Elisa V. Quintela, Eleanor Liu, Nicky Chacon (Frank), Margaret Dutton, Mary Helen Matta (Louie), Dorothy Perez (Freddy) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Manuel was preceded in death by his parents, sister Estella Cordova, and brothers-in-law Carlos Cordova, Raymond Quintela and Yung Liu.
Manuel served in the New Mexico National Guard as the full time Unit Mechanic for 34 years where he received many commendations and awards. After retiring in 1995, he worked as a security officer for the Physical Science Laboratory on the campus of NMSU. He also volunteered his time as a security officer at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. Manuel was a faithful and devoted member of the Roman Catholic Church and his Christian faith was very important to him. He served as a catechism teacher at St. Genevieve Church for many years and he was a charter member of the St. Genevieve Knights of Columbus Council 13969.
Serving as pallbearers will be James Otero, Jeffrey Otero, Daniel Eres, Steven Gabaldon, Jonathan Villa and Christopher Villa. Honorary pallbearers are Sean Fountain, Tony Eres, Anna Larkin and Natalie Villa.
Manuel’s life will be celebrated with a funeral liturgy at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1240 S. Espina, on January 15, 2021 with Rosary at 10:00 am and funeral Mass to follow immediately thereafter. Manuel will be laid to rest at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery. A livestream will be available at www.getzcares.com. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, capacity of attendees will be limited to family members and everyone is asked to please wear a mask. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the National Kidney Foundation in memory of Manuel R. Villa. Service arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Getz Funeral Home.
“We think about you always, we talk about you still. You have never been forgotten and you never will. We hold you close within our hearts and there you will remain. To walk and guide us through our lives, until we meet again.” Author unknown.
Manuel Villa, you are truly loved and will be dearly missed.