Our wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and dear friend, Jesus "Jesse" Munoz, Jr., 89, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
He is preceded in death by his wife Aurora "Dora" Munoz, mother Tomasa Munoz, father Jesus Munoz, brother Antonio Munoz, Sr., sister Dolores Riojas, and nephew Antonio "Tony" Munoz, Jr.
Jesse is survived by his daughters: Jessica Miera (Robert), Marisela Sanchez (Bill); 3 grandchildren: Michael Richmond (Jenny), David Marquez, Nicole Marquez; nephews: Robert Munoz (Lynn), Gilberto (Tina) Riojas, Humberto Riojas; nieces: Sylvia Disler (John), Martha Riojas; sister-in-law Gloria Garcia, brother-in-law Samuel Bardo (Herminie); nephews and nieces: Jesse Garcia III (Sandra), Monica Gutierrez (Rafael), Vanessa Escamilla (Joel), Marco Garcia (Pauline), Chris Garcia (Holly), Belinda Bauders (Chris), Deborah Coffey (Pat), Steven Bardo (Christy). He is also survived by many great nephews, great nieces, cousins, family and friends.
Jesse was born in Uvalde, Texas where he spent his childhood and teen years. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952. Jesse completed his Fire Fighting and Aircraft Crash Rescue training in 1955 and Advanced Firemen’s training in 1958. Jesse served with bravery and distinction in the Korean War. He later went on to serve in the Vietnam War. Jesse was a decorated Helicopter Rescue Firefighter and a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.
Jesse married Aurora in 1956 and they were blessed with 66 years of marriage, two daughters, and three grandchildren. Throughout his military career, Jesse was stationed in Texas, Bermuda, England, and New Mexico. Dora and their two daughters were fortunate to travel with him making a home anywhere they went.
In 1974, Jesse (MSgt Jesus Munoz Jr.) retired as Fire Chief from the USAF, Kirtland Air Force Base, and made Albuquerque his permanent home. Jesse was passionate about his fire and rescue career, so he taught Firefighter courses at the university level where he shared his valuable knowledge and experience. He later earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and worked as an accountant until his second retirement in 2000.
Jesse was a longtime member of the PEDRO Rescue Helicopter Association and enjoyed keeping in contact with fellow crew members and attending reunions.
He loved music and dancing with Dora, spending time with his grandchildren, and traveling the world. Jesse and Dora enjoyed watching football together. Jesse’s other favorite activities were camping, fishing, going on picnics, barbequing with family and friends, and watching old western movies. He liked to read, was a history buff and was always willing to share his stories.
Jesse's Life Celebration will begin with a Visitation on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 9:45 a.m. at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church located at 5415 Fortuna Rd NW Albuquerque, NM 87105. Rosary will be recited at 10:15 a.m. Mass will begin at 11:00 a.m. Jesse will be laid to rest beside his loving wife of 66 years on Friday, January 27, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at Santa Fe National Cemetery located at 501 N Guadalupe St. Santa Fe, 87501. Jesse's graveside will be livestreamed on Reflections' Facebook Page. You do NOT need a Facebook account to view the livestream. Please click the link below at the scheduled time. The livestream will start when the graveside service starts.
Pallbearers will be Robert Miera, Bill Sanchez, Michael Richmond, David Marquez, Robert Munoz, and Michael Munoz.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Sylvia Disler, Gilbert Riojas, Umberto Riojas, Marta Riojas, and Chris Marquez.