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Ricardo Villarreal

March 21, 1944 January 27, 2021
Ricardo Villarreal
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Obituary for Ricardo Villarreal

Ricardo Simon Villarreal was welcomed home by his Heavenly Father on January 27th, 2021. He passed away due to complications of Covid-19 at Northbay Hospital in Fairfield, CA, as his family and close friends gathered near and far to pray in unity. Ricardo is survived by his beloved wife, Aixa (X), and their four children: Edna, Abner, Natalie, and Rayne, each with families of their own. They were blessed with 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Their daughter, Edna McKinney, married to the late Anthony McKinney, with grandchildren: Marcus, Anthony, Ashley, Paul, and Jordan. Their son, Abner Villarreal, married to Jessica Villarreal, with grandchildren: Eden, Bayley, and Austin. Their daughter, Natalie Rios, married to Rafa Rios Sr., with grandchildren: Tyler, Seth, Lysette, Rafa Jr., Roman, and Ava. Their daughter, Rayne Villarreal, married to Erika Villarreal, with grandchildren: Tatyana, Jerel,
Calel, and Quintin. Their granddaughter, Eden Martinez, married to Cuco Martinez,
with great-grandchildren: Roy and Ariel.

Ricardo’s life began in Mercedes, Texas on March 21st 1944. His parents were Simon and Blanca Villarreal who both preceded him in death, along with his late siblings - Delia, Reynaldo, Arturo, and Alma Ruth. He was the 6th of 13 siblings altogether including his surviving sisters and brothers - Lucinda, Bertha, Jorge, Alicia, Danny, Oscar, Maria, and Ted. Their family has stayed close over the decades as they’ve expanded and stretched out over the country.

Ricardo’s first achievement in life was his service to his country. While he was still in high school, he enlisted in the National Guard, and became active duty at the age of 17 in the United States Army. He served in the Army for 10 years before he left to be at his father’s side as he passed away. Shortly thereafter, he re-enlisted in the Air Force and went on to serve another 10 years before retiring honorably from the military in 1981. As a veteran who served in the Vietnam War, Ricardo’s experience in the military played a very important role in his life. He frequently pointed out that the military taught him values, provided discipline, and gave him purpose. He was a huge advocate of military service to family and friends as they came of age. He had various jobs throughout his military career; jeep mechanic, crew chief, load master - just to name a few, but none of them proved as rewarding as his last 7 years as a medical specialist because it led to his position in the hospital at McConnell Air Force Base. It was there in Witchita, Kansas, where Ricardo met the love of his life. He met Aixa Evangelina Ortiz in 1977, they began dating in 1978, and were married on January 22nd of 1979 before they received the orders that brought them to Beale Air Force Base in California.

Ricardo was raised as a believer and was instrumental in leading his wife to the Lord, but it was together that they grew strong in faith as he rededicated his life to God with the utmost commitment. His dedication is what led to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, after military retirement in 1981, in pursuit of a new mission: ministry. His career had begun anew as a peace officer for the state of California in 1982 at one of the country’s most notorious prisons, California Medical Facility, Vacaville where he was employed as a Senior MTA for the Department of Mental Health. While serving in a local church and establishing his ordination, Ricardo followed the Lord’s leading to begin a successful prison ministry there at CMF that impacted both inmates and staff, and is still going strong today. It led to the establishment of a group called Christians in Corrections (CIC) which served to provide discipleship to new believers working in the harsh correctional field. Ricardo didn’t just have a heart for the lost, he had a heart for his family, his community, his church, the elderly, his neighbors, children, and more. He had a heart for all people; and it showed as he served as an original board member for Alpha Pregnancy Clinic, coached his son’s baseball team, and taught chapels at Vacaville Christian Academy (Schools). No one and nothing was too insignificant for him to serve for the Lord wholeheartedly. He lived his life spirit-led and Bible-taught. His humility was evident as he was never college educated, yet he wrote his own anger management course. He never attended theology school yet he created a marriage counseling curriculum. The Lord blessed his musical passion for worship by teaching him to play the piano, harmonica, and accordion without even being able to read music. His family is so proud of the album that he recorded of his harmonica gospel hymns. He used all of these gifts and more for Kingdom purposes well beyond even his 20 years of working full-time at CMF to support his family until he retired from his job with the state in 2002.

His work didn’t end there however. He also had joined the staff at Valley Church in Vacaville after being approached by Dr. Raleigh Galgan, to offer his full-support in Ricardo’s efforts of evangelism. Under the title of Chaplain, his commitment to the Lord never wavered as he officiated countless weddings, provided marriage and family counseling, presided over funerals, spoke at events, and even sang with AWANA students, puppet in hand. Ricardo told stories in children’s church, translated on mission trips, dedicated homes and children, baptized new believers, and taught court mandated anger management courses. He played the piano at senior homes, hosted devotions and Bible studies, and became the helper and connector to so many individuals with anything they needed. Throughout the 20+ years on staff at Valley, he preached in churches - Spanish, Korean, and English-speaking and made numerous visits, any time of day or night, to the sick, the homebound, the incarcerated, and the homeless. He was the after-hours emergency pastor who was known as the one who would always answer calls for anyone - pastors, caregivers, hospitals, clinics, prisons, colleagues, and strangers alike. No one was too sick, too dirty, or too sinful to be treated with love. More people than can be counted have stories that begin with a prayer or cry of their heart or a desperate circumstance, with a chance meeting with him at the perfect time, where he gently listened, boldly shared his faith, and continued to pray and follow up with them intentionally. Ricardo served without asking anything in return, and he humbly preferred working behind the scenes, never needing recognition or thanks. He did it all because of the saving grace given to him by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the desire to share the hope of eternal life to all, that was so undeservedly given to himself. He may not have been in the spotlight throughout his life, but his legacy shines brightly of the love of God. The man that everyone else knew was the same man that his family knew; the same man they love and will miss dearly. They will never hear a hymn, see the Dallas Cowboy logo, or burn their food without thinking of him. Any time they hear a harmonica or tambourine, smell lemongrass, watch Mariachis, eat pandulce, or just laugh at a “dad” joke - he’ll be on their minds. He loved going to garage sales, eating sweets with his coffee, practical jokes with his coworkers, going out to breakfast, and tending to his plants; he also loved watching the news, laughing uncontrollably, listening to music and sermons, kissing and hugging everyone, holding crying babies, and of course, sharing the gospel everywhere he went… but most of all Ricardo loved his family with all of his heart, and fiercely loved his wife, Aixa, just as Christ loved the church.

His favorite scripture was the promise of God, Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Ricardo’s life on earth may have ended, but because of his willingness to serve God, now countless others have hope and an eternal future too. His favorite poem reads, “The tide recedes but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand, the sun goes down but gentle warmth still lingers on the land, the music stops and yet it echoes on in sweet refrains, for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.” (author unknown) Ricardo leaves behind a legacy that speaks to the beauty of God. The Lord was his life, his family was his heart, and Aixa was his very breath. He lived daily showing us how to love, by how well he loved, because God first loved him...and thanks to our Creator, for the life of Ricardo Simon Villarreal, we can now know that ALL IS WELL!

The Celebration of Life is completely open to the public and will be held at The Father’s House in Vacaville, CA, on Friday, March 5th, 2021 at 10:30am. Everyone is invited to join the family in remembering Ricardo Villarreal’s abundant life.

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Previous Events

Service

Friday

5

Mar

10:30 AM 3/5/2021 10:30:00 AM
The Father's House

4800 Horse Creek Drive
Vacaville, CA 95688

The Father's House
4800 Horse Creek Drive Vacaville 95688 CA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Final Resting Place

5810 Midway Rd.
Dixon, CA 95620

5810 Midway Rd. Dixon 95620 CA
United States
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