Rafael R. Sanchez, 83, of York Valley, passed away November 3, 2015 at his home with his loving family at his side. He was born November 3, 1932 in Florence, AZ to Rafael & Catalina Ruiz Sanchez.
He received his education in Morenci and graduated from Morenci High School. While in school he met Elena Ramirez and they were later married. Rafael then joined the U.S. Air Force and served in the Korean Conflict. After his discharge he returned to the Morenci area where he found employment at the Phelps Dodge Mine. Rafael and Elena were blessed with five children; Christine, Juanita, Ralph, Teresa and Robert.
In his spare time Rafael liked to go fishing and spend time in the mountains. He also like to garden. His yard is full of the many things he’s planted over the years. He was always out in the yard fixing or doing something. He was an active member of the American Legion Post 28 and enjoyed serving others.
Rafael is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Elena, children; Christine (Demecio) Sierra, Juanita (Richard) McCluskey, Ralph (Carol) Sanchez, Teresa (Juan Samaniego) Sanchez, and Robert (Carmen Mioni) Sanchez, six grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents Rafael and Catalina Sanchez, and brothers; Juan and Manuel Sanchez.
Services for Rafael will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Morenci beginning with a viewing at 9:00 a.m., Rosary at 10:00 a.m. and Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to St. Mary’s Mission in Duncan, Arizona.
Services are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel and Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.