Joe G. Padilla, 48, went to be in the loving arms of his creator on Jan. 5, 2013 in Mesa, Ariz. He was born March 22, 1964 to Joe and Patsy (Garcia) Padilla in Silver City. Joe graduated from LCHS in 1982 and went to work for Borden Dairy. Later he worked for Shamrock Foods and US Foods prior to opening his own business, Acme Grill Cleaning, in Phoenix, Ariz. Joe began umpiring baseball while in high school and attended umpiring school in Florida for two seasons. He also officiated one season in the Alaskan League. He enjoyed calling college baseball both in New Mexico and Arizona. In 1995 during the Major League umpire strike, Joe was called up to umpire spring training and invited to be part of an umpiring crew to begin the National League season. He was on the crew that umpired the opening series for the Colorado Rockies at new Coors Stadium. Next, he went to Chicago for the Cubs series where he debuted on national television behind the plate, fought with the San Diego Chicken while on third base and received a call from the Major League commissioner for a job well done behind the plate. Lastly, his dream was completed in a three-game series in St. Louis. His love for his family, friends and sports allowed him to share many college and major league games with them. He participated in family functions and sporting events for his nephews and nieces. Joey, as he was lovingly known, is survived by his parents, a brother Jon (Lori), four sisters; Roni (Dave Bjorsness), Cinda (Tomas Agosto), Tryshia (Matt Jordan), all of Las Cruces and Jamine (Neil Segura) of Austin, Texas; 12 nieces and nephews: Daniel, Kat, Audi, Mari, Lorenzo, Gabriel, Nathaniel, Mayah, Debbie, Alex, Veronica and Selina, all of Las Cruces, as well as his maternal grandfather, Patricio Garcia, and many uncles, aunts and cousins. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Guadalupe and Romana Padilla, maternal grandmother, Lucinda Garcia, and family members from the Almanzar, Weaver, Griego and Padilla families. Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life service at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 at the Mesilla Park Recreation Center auditorium, 304 Bell Ave. in Mesilla Park. Service arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels, 300 Boutz Road, Las Cruces. 527-2222. For online condolences log on to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com.