Mr. Antonio “Tony” Cruz Villa, was born on September 6, 1930, in Big Springs, Texas. He was one of twelve children, born to parents Francisco and Sostenes Villa. Tony’s siblings include; Frank, Thomas, Alex, Felix, Julian, Joe, Raymond, Gregory, Guadalupe, Mary and Albert. Tony served in the United States Air Force. In 1953, Antonio moved to California, where he and his wife of 70 years, established a home and became long-time residents of Atwater, California. He was an employee of Merced Community Medical Center, where he eventually retired after 32 years. Tony and his wife Mary, loved to dance together. They were always complemented for their stylish and elegant dress; and Tony had a hat for every occasion. Tony had a wonderful sense of humor and those who knew him, enjoyed that he always had a witty comeback when you joked with him. Mr. Villa loved sports, especially being on the winning team in softball. He also took a special interest in getting the young people of the community, off the streets, through competitive sports. Using his skills as a trainer, Tony became a respected boxing coach. Tony will be remembered as a devoted husband to Mary, and the loving father of; Antonio Villa Jr. of Atwater; Margie (Villa) Matus of Atwater and Debra (Villa) Simons of Le Grand. He was also the proud grandfather to four grandchildren; Regina Ramos of Le Grand, Rachelle Hawkins of Le Grand, Megan Ables of Merced and Amanda Matus of Le Grand. A dedicated and affectionate great grandfather, he also took great joy in having four great grandchildren; Steven Hawkins Jr., Gabriel Hawkins, Natalie Hawkins and Kenneth Ables. Antonio passed away peacefully on May 27, 2018, in Merced, Ca. A rosary will be held on June 6, 2018 at 6:00pm at Ivers and Alcorn Funeral Home, located at 3050 North Winton Way in Atwater. A Viewing will be from 5 - 8pm. A Mass will be held on Thursday, June 7, 2018, at 10:00am at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 1799 Winton Way in Atwater. Graveside burial rites will follow at 1:30pm, at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, 32053 West McCabe Road in Santa Nella.
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