Francisco "Frank" Reyes, Sr., 82, died March 11, 2005. He was born Aug. 30, 1922 in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
He grew up in Tolleson, Ariz. and attended Arizona State University for three years.
He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on Guadalcanal Island in the Pacific during his service with the Army. He served in the Army for three years during World War II. He was part of a small, select group of soldiers who were "forward observers" on a ship in the Pacific with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy.
Mr. Reyes' red, white, and blue nature led him to work for veterans after he was out of the service. He was instrumental in obtaining land for veterans to be buried from and next to March Air Field Base in Riverside, Calif., which will be his final resting place.
He was also instrumental in starting a Veterans of Foreign Wars in West Covina, Calif., of which he was a lifetime member and served as commander in 1964-1965. He was a commander of the American Legion Post in Arcadia, Calif. As a volunteer, he also visited and helped veterans in hospitals throughout Southern California.
Mr. Reyes was awarded a plaque for "Outstanding Veteran of the Year" in 1970.
He served as sergeant-at-arms and on the executive committee of the American Legion in Payson.
Mr. Reyes retired from Latrobe Steel in Pennsylvania after 30 years of service as superintendent of the Los Angeles, Calif. warehouse.
He leaves his loving wife, Ruth; five children, John, Margie, Linda, Frank Jr., and Mark; 17 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He also leaves three sisters and two brothers who live in the Valley.
A visitation will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 16 at Messinger Payson Funeral Home, 302 W. Aero Drive, Payson. Funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. A reception will be held immediately following at the American Legion. Graveside services will be held at 11:45 a.m., Friday, March 18, 2005 at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, Calif.
Donations can be made to Rim Country Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 305, Payson, AZ 85547.
Arrangements handled by Messinger Payson Funeral Home.