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Palm La Paz Funerals & Cremations

2983 Tulare Street, Fresno, CA

OBITUARY

Manuel Garcia Muñoz

September 16, 1927December 18, 2019
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Born September 16, 1927 in Lone Pine, California, where his father, Refugio Munoz worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad; Manuel was around five (5) when the family took a vacation to Mexico. While there, his father noticed how inexpensive things were and decided not to return to California.

As a young man, he recalls “Bracero Program” recruiters coming around, trying to encourage him and his friends to sign up and work for the United States; but he was never interested; that is, until he met Carmen Campos.

After a formal request by his parents for Carmen’s hand in marriage was denied, Manuel decided to go to America. When he informed Carmen of his plans, she said, “take me with you!” They ran away in mid June 1947; but he quickly decided to do the right thing and returned her to nearby family.

Manuel and Carmen were married on July 14, 1947, upon her 21st birthday, and not too long thereafter; made their way to Ciudad Juarez, Chih., MX. Not long after this, his parents and siblings also followed. Manuel went onto California, leaving Carmen with his parents.

On May 09, 1948, Carmen, very pregnant with first child, arrived in Fresno, California. Now the family was together and the next day, May 10, 1948, Mary was born. For a short time, Manuel worked alongside with his Uncle Severiano Garcia at the Santa Fe Railroad.

Eighteen months later, Grace was born, November 07, 1949. By that time, Manuel was working with the local farmers doing all the tasks that go with grape harvesting. During his downtime, Manuel picked up the guitar. He really got into it, buying song books that had the chords and working really hard to learn how to play. About six (6) years after Grace, on February 09, 1956, Herbert joined the Munoz family, as the one and only boy.

In 1957, after spending a month, sitting daily at the Sun Maid Raisin Company’s employment office, with a packed lunch prepared by Carmen, he eventually was offered a job in Fresno and later was transferred to the new Kingsburg plant; working there until his retirement in 1985.

As his love for music grew, he made connections with other local musicians and started a duet with Henry Rosas, naming themselves “El Dueto Los Barranquenos” and quickly became very popular and in demand. During this period, Manuel tried his hand at composing songs. One song he dedicated to Fresno, “Ay Fresno Precioso”, was so popular that it became their first vinyl recording. Manuel went on to compose over 400 songs, including lyric and music, during his lifetime.

As time passed, his duet became a trio with the addition of Juan Rodriguez. As a trio, they became more in demand and found themselves performing at weddings, birthdays, community and political events and multiple performances at the Fresno Fair. During this period, they recorded a 2nd record. With the sudden death of Juan Rodriguez and later the departure of Henry Rosas, Manuel started another trio, “Trio Los Colimas.”

Through his musical connections, Manuel traveled to Mexico City to promote and have his music recorded by contracted artists. He sang one of his songs to well-known composer, Rafael Carrion, who then suggested, he should record his own songs. Manuel remembered how humbling and honored he felt to hear that such a famous composer would suggest that his voice and talent was sufficient to record his own music.

Manuel went on to record two (2) cassettes and one (1) CD with an international and well known record company, AMS. These recordings contained all his own compositions and sung by Manuel Munoz, himself. He was in the process of recording a 2nd CD, when he lost his beloved Carmen Munoz in 2012. They were only a month shy of their 65th wedding anniversary.

The loss of his wife, our mom, was hard on him. He kept busy with his gardening and replaying his music. Doing his gardening resulted in a fall that fractured his left leg and then a second fall broke his left wrist and hip. Although he appeared to heal well, he slowly stopped playing his guitar.

Though Dad could be difficult at times, his behavior started to change. He became more stubborn, more suspicious of others and had difficulty remembering. It was only a matter of time, when we ultimately realized and learned the true causes. At first we were in denial; then, it broke our hearts to see such a talented writer-composer not remember words to his own songs.

On December 18, 2019, dad left us to join his wife, mother and other siblings who have preceded him. Dad can finally sing that special song he wrote for his mom, Carmen Garcia, “Mananitas A Mi Madre” and sing again the special one he composed to his three granddaughters, Sofia E. Rios, Sonia E. McKnight and Rachel Munoz, “Las Tres Flores” and finally the one dedicated to his great-granddaughter, Skylin Esparza, “Una Estrella”

Manuel Munoz is preceded in death by: his wife Carmen C. Munoz his parents, Refugio & Carmen Munoz all his brothers and sisters, including his half-brothers and half-sisters, except one surviving sister, Dolores “Lola” Aragonez of Las Vegas

Manuel is also survived by: His daughters: Mary Munoz (spouse Alfred Gonzales) of Clovis, CA Grace Munoz-Rios of Porterville, CA His son: Herbert Munoz (spouse Helen Munoz) of Mauldin, South Carolina His grandchildren: Sofia E. Rios (spouse Angie Dominguez) of Fresno, CA Sonia E. McKnight, of Porterville, CA Rachel Munoz (spouse Dane Kelley) of Fountain Inn, South Carolina Donna Dallas (spouse Michael Dallas) of Lake Land, Florida Paul Munoz (spouse Brenda Rico) of La Puente, CA His great-grandchildren: Skylin Esparza Lily Shea McKnight Michael “Bubba” McKnight Nicholas “Niko” Dallas Christine Dallas Brantley Michelle Kelley Dane Kelley, II Many cousins, nieces and nephews

THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC, DAD…GRACIAS POR LA MUSICA, PAPA

  • FAMILY

  • Refugio Muñoz, Padre (deceased)
  • Carmen Garcia, Madre (deceased)
  • Carmen Campos Muñoz, Esposa (deceased)
  • Mary Muñoz, Hija
  • Grace Muñoz-Rios, Hija
  • Herbert Muñoz, Hijo
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Herbert Muñoz
  • Paul Muñoz
  • Alfred Gonzales
  • Steven Montoya
  • Gil Trujillo
  • Frank Pedroza

Services

  • Visitación Thursday, January 2, 2020
  • Recitación del Rosario Thursday, January 2, 2020
  • Misa de Entierro Cristiano Friday, January 3, 2020
  • Lugar Final de Descanso Friday, January 3, 2020

Memories

Manuel Garcia Muñoz

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Octavio Moreno

January 23, 2020

Tío Abuelo Manuel!

Gracias por ser fuente de inspiración para mí y la familia, te prometo perseguir mis sueños y buscar superarme cada día. Un fuerte abrazo hasta el cielo.

Blanca Fanely

January 21, 2020

Our deepest sympathies to Mary, Grace, Herbert and all of the extended Muñoz family for the loss of Tio Manuel. I will hold beautiful memories of our Tio singing to our a grandmother Carmen close to our heart. His visits and his love for us will never be forgotten. From his deceased baby sister Maria De San Juan Munoz de Gallegos children...Blanca Gallegos Fanely, Pablo Gallegos, Roberto Gallegos, Leticia Gallegos Ramirez and families. Sending hugs and prayers for peace.

Nuestro sincero pésame para Mary, Grace, Heriberto y a toda la familia Muñoz por la perdida de nuestro Tío Manuel. Siempre recordaremos cuando mi Tío Manuel le cantaba a nuestra Abuelita Carmen. Nunca se nos va olvidar sus visitas y el cariño que nos tuvo. De parte de los hijos de su difunta hermanita Maria De San Juan Munoz Gallegos...Blanca Gallegos Fanely, Pablo Gallegos, Roberto Gallegos, Leticia Gallegos Ramirez y familias. Les mandamos abrazos y oraciones para paz.

MARY MUNOZ

January 21, 2020

(Memory in English-Oldest Daughter)
It is difficult, at best, to attempt to honor Dad in words. Words frequently fall short at capturing someone’s true essence, especially when that someone is your Dad; but I offer the following few words that summarize our statement “Thank you for the music”!
Dad was a man of few words. He expressed his love for family, friends and life through his many musical compositions and lyrics and not so much through his actions. Perhaps one of the most important things we shared was a love of music. You could always tell when Dad was moved by something when he flashed a big smile, though it was usually when we were singing or praising his music.
Today, Dad would shed a few tears to see how many of his family and friends turned up to celebrate his life; but he would also be surprised with their attendance as Dad was a very simple and humble man.
As much as we would want our parents to last forever; they are not, and this causes so much pain when we do lose them. What is forever is our love and precious memories of them which we will always hold so dear in our hearts. Dad…you were loved very much and we will miss you!

MARY MUNOZ

January 21, 2020

(Memory In Spanish)
Es dificil tratar de dar honor a un Padre por medio de palabras. Las palabras tienen tendencia de no capturar exactamente la esencia de una persona, y menos cuando se trata de nuestro Padre; pero he tratado de hacerlo para explicar porque dicimos “Gracias por la musica!”
Papa fue un hombre de pocas palabras. Se expresionaba mejor por medio de sus composiciones y musica dedicada a nuestra familia, sus amistades o a la vida y no tanto por sus acciones. Se puede decir que lo mas importante que compartimos fue su amor a la musica. Siempre podiamos ver cuando algo le daba alegria por su sonrisa grande y colgate; aunque por lo usual era cuando cantabamos o era cuando dabamos un piropo sobre sus canciones o composiciones.
Hoy, seguramente Papa dejo caer alguna lagrima al ver cuantos de su familia y amistades asistieron a esta celebracion de su vida; aunque Papa era una persona sencilla y humilde, toda esta atencion le causaria sorpresa.
Aunque quisieramos que nuestros Padres fueran eternos, no lo son y esto duele mucho al perderlos; pero lo que si es eterno es nuestro amor y carino y todos los recuerdos que guardaremos en nuestro corazon por siempre. Papa…se te quiso mucho y te vamos a extranar!

Skylin Estrella Esparza

January 18, 2020

Dear great grandpa,
you we’re the funniest man I’ve ever met without even trying. My favorite memory of you was finding out how you kept your mustache jet black. One day at a store you asked me to help you find black mascara, specifically ‘waterproof’. Although confused, I proceeded to help you anyway. My curious mind couldn’t help but to wonder, “what could you possibly be doing with waterproof mascara?” Eventually I asked & you motioned yourself brushing through your mustache. I couldn’t quite grasp what you were trying to tell me (especially since I didn’t know Spanish that well) so I told my grandparents & they explained to me that’s how you kept your mustache black. We all laughed & joked about it & it became a cute joke for the rest of your vacation. I miss you great grandpa & the fresh fruit we would pick together in the backyard. You were a big impact in my childhood. Some of my very first memories were spending time with you & great grandma. It hurts to know you’re gone but brings me joy to know you’re reunited with great grandma. I love you so much! I can’t wait to see you again ❤️
- Tu Estrella ⭐️

Rachel Muñoz-Esparza

January 17, 2020

Dear Grandpa,
I want to thank you for EVERYTHING you have done for me. Thank you for being the best YOU I could ever have as a grandfather. I thank you for making me appreciate things people don't really care for and don't think about. I thank you for your bigger than life stories, your silly jokes, and of course your awesome disappearing tricks. I thank you and grandma for the many birthday serenades... It made my birthday even more special.
It hurts me to even think about it.
I can sit here and thank you all day long... Even for eternity but I know it's not gonna make anything better or bring you back.
Grandpa, I LOVE YOU and I miss you... This is a different type of heartache but it will heal when I see you again.
I thank God for you and for choosing you to be my grandfather. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I will part with these words...
The beautiful irony of this is that our loss is another's reunion.❤

P.S.
Give grandma a BIG hug and kiss for me and the kids.❤

Familia Alvarado Aldana

January 17, 2020

Tenemos recuerdos de el cuando venia a Juarez y el siempre queria que cocinaramos carnitas, frijoles de la olla, pico de gallo y le gustaba cantar con mi hermano Luis Aldana y mi papá Remigio... mi tio cantaba muy bonito. Son recuerdos muy bonitos que guardamos de el y mi tia Carmen cada vez que nos visitaban. Fueron unos tios que siempre nos procuraron y nos quisieron. Pedimos a Dios que tome en cuenta todas sus buenas obras. Siempre lo recordaremos con su gran sonrisa...DEP.

Anastacio (Enrique) Rosas

January 16, 2020

Padrino, I remember practicing with your requinto, vocalizing and learning songs. I didn't own a requinto so I played it only at practice time. 1960 was the start of our 17 year musical venture. My part as lead voice/requinto player for Dueto Los Barranquenos/Trio Los Barranquenos was some experience. Our public and private performances included television and live radio shows. We recorded two of your songs, Ojitos DE Pensamiento & La Derotada. Both are filed at the UCLA library under Mexican American Performers. Your many other songs along with your recordings will be a memorial of your ever lasting life. I'm glad I had the courage to sing to you for the last time one of your songs, De Durango Ha Nogales.
For Ever Enrique


Maria Estela Reyes

January 15, 2020

Several years ago, out of the clear blue, my uncle called me. Much to my surprise, he knew it was my birthday. He played the Mananitas for me, it was special to me because by this time my parents were deceased. He made me feel loved and not forgotten, that was the kind of men he was.

Grace Munoz Rios

January 3, 2020

Dearest Dad, my heart breaks in your passing but what stays within me is those special moments we shared and memories that will be triggered by a word or action. I will take at moment & cherish. Querida Papa, mi corazon se rompe por tu partida pero lo que se queda en mi van hacer los momentos especiales que pasamos juntos y las memorias que vienen por una palabra o accion. Voy a tomar un memento para saboriar el recuerdo.

FROM THE FAMILY

Once Anos de Edad - Eleven Years Old

FROM THE FAMILY

Dieciocho Anos De Edad - 18 Years Old

FROM THE FAMILY

Manuel Y Carmen Munoz

FROM THE FAMILY

Manuel Y Carmen Munoz

FROM THE FAMILY

Su mama, Carmen Garcia Munoz - His mother

FROM THE FAMILY

Tio Severiano y Tia Lupe Garcia - Beloved Aunt & Uncle, First Cousins of his mom

FROM THE FAMILY

Beloved Tio Refugio "Cuco" Munoz - His only brother

FROM THE FAMILY

Sus hermanas - Tia Lola, Tia Chavela, Tia Maria Canuta, Tia Luz, Tia Clemencia and Tia San Juana -His sisters

FROM THE FAMILY

Tia Luz - Sister

FROM THE FAMILY

Tia Clemencia y Tio Salvador Reyes - Sister and Brother-in-law