Ricardo "Ritchie" Avalos Portillo, age 91 lifelong resident of Las Cruces, New Mexico, left his dwelling place on earth and entered eternal life to be with his heavenly Father on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born March 20, 1921 to Francisco and Maria Clara Avalos Portillo. Ricardo enlisted in the United States Army in 1941 during WWII where he served with the 2683rd Depot Guard Company and the 136th Military Police Company for 37 months, with 33 months in Africa and Italy. He did town patrolling, checking military personnel and civilians and understood use of small arms in riot control and disorder quelling. He received the Purple Heart after being wounded in North Africa.
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While completing his tour of duty in Rome, Italy, he met the love of his life, Domenica Marinacci and they were married on October 29, 1945. After WWII, Ricardo and Domenica made their home in Las Cruces where they raised their eight children. Ricardo enjoyed gardening, feeding the birds and spending time with his family; had a great sense of humor, telling and playing jokes on all his family, and loved to talk about his life growing up and WWII stories and how he met Domenica.
He devotedly prayed his rosary to our Blessed Mother. Ritchie (Papo), as he was fondly known, had a strong sense of family values that have been passed on to all his family members in one way or another. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Those left to mourn his passing include three daughters, Gracie P. Serecerez (Martin), Genovina "Jenny" P. Bridgforth (Steve), and Lucia P. Archuleta (Mike); five sons, Richard Portillo (Marty), Giuseppe Portillo, Freddie Portillo, Johnny Portillo and Gino Portillo (Kathy). Other survivors include twenty grandchildren, Javier, Leticia, Gina Marie, Rudy Jr., Victoria, Michael, Stephany, Bryan, Richard III, Sarah Margaret, Francesca, Anamaria, Merlinda, Selina, John Joseph, Danielle, Michael James, Jennifer Grace, Domenico Diego and Tabitha Christine; twenty-seven great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Domenica; maternal grandparents, three brothers and a sister.
Visitation for Mr. Portillo will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, February 1, 2013 in Baca's Chapel of Prayer, 300 E. Boutz Road, where the Prayer Vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, 1240 S. Espina. The Rite of Committal and Interment will follow in Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 5140 W. Picacho with military honors accorded by the New Mexico National Guard Honor Guard and the Marine Corps League - El Perro Diablo Detachment.
Serving as casket bearers will be his grandsons, Javier Serecerez, Rudy Alvarez, Jr., Michael Alvarez, Richard Portillo III, John Joseph Portillo, Michael James Archuleta and Domenico Diego Portillo. Honorary bearers will be his children.
A special thank you to Mesilla Valley Hospice and Home Medical Equipment for the wonderful and compassionate care they provided our loved one.
Service arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels of Las Cruces. 575-527-2222. Your exclusive providers for "Veterans and Family Memorial Care". For online condolence logon to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com
Published in The Las Cruces Bulletin from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7, 2013