Jose Manuel Gomez (Manny Gomez) was born in Yuma on Jan. 10, 1931 -- one of 13 children born to Maria Guadalupe Trujillo of Chihuahua, Mexico and Ignacio Gomez of Spain. Manny Gomez died Oct. 7, 2005.
Mr. Gomez attended school until first grade. His first language spoken at home was Spanish. His second language was English.
He left home at 13 years of age. He lived in Somerton, doing yard work, farming and carpentry.
He married Carmen and they remained married for 39 years until her death in 1996.
Mr. Gomez was a member of Phoenix Concrete and Mason Union for 39 years. He worked ten years at the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant.
He fell in love with the town of Strawberry after elk hunting in the area. When Carmen died, he moved north to the forest and bought one acre on Ralls Drive in Strawberry.
He planted large organic gardens and canned 100 quarts of his "world-famous" chili sauce for family and friends each fall.
After his death, a memorial harvest dance and benefit was hosted by Wanda and Bethann Carollo.
He is buried beside his wife, Carmen, in Holy Cross Cemetery in Avondale.