Freddie M. Portillo, 59, of Las Cruces New Mexico, after a short but brave battle with lung cancer, passed away Thursday, August 28, 2014 with his family and friends by his side. He was the fifth of eight children born to Ricardo and Domenica Portillo on January 29, 1955.
Fred enlisted in the United States Army in 1973 where he completed boot camp at Fort Dix, New Jersey. In 1993, after honorably serving his country with 22 years of service, Fred retired from the United States Army National Guard.
Fred's favorite sports included watching his favorite football team the Chicago Bears, Nascar, stock car and drag racing. He was a basketball coach for Bantam Weight Youth League for several years. But his most favorite sport was cheering for his daughter Selina and Merlinda and grandson Elijah during their softball and baseball games.
Fred's employment first started with City of Las Cruces, working with Parks & Recreation baseball maintenance crew. After three years of service with the City of Las Cruces Fred then went to work at New Mexico State University as an irrigation specialist for 9.5 years. In 1992 Fred then started his employment with New Mexico Department of Transportation as a highway maintenance operator where he remained until his retirement in 2013. He enjoyed training and being licensed to operate all of the different NMDOT equipment. His experience and knowledge of how to operate and maneuver the many different types of loaders, sweepers, and graders helped him win several NMDOT Rodeos. He was very proud of his proficiency and accomplishments while at NMDOT. Fred was recognized and awarded for his exceptional and dedicated service by the Governor of the State of New Mexico shortly after his retirement.
He is preceded by his parents, Ricardo and Domenica Portillo. Freddie is survived by his two daughters or as he would proudly say "my girls", Merlinda Portillo Gutierrez(Tommy) of Albuquerque, NM and Selina Portillo of Las Cruces. He was a very proud grandpa to Elijah, his "princesses" Amri and Kailei Gutierrez. Sisters; Gracie Serecerez (Martin), Jenny Bridgeforth (Steve), Lucia Archuleta (Mike). Brothers; Richard Jr. "Boy" (Marty), Giuseppe "Peppe", Johnny "JW", Gino (Kathy), numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and close friends.
A Celebration of life and rosary will be held at La Paz/Grahams Funeral home on Tuesday September 2nd at 7 pm. Funeral mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral Wednesday September 3rd at 10 am with the burial procession to follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.
Pall Bearers will be his brothers Richard, Pepe, Johnny, and Gino Portillo, son in law Tommy Gutierrez and friend Clay Smith. Honorary Pall Bearer will be his grandson Elijah Gutierrez.
The Portillo family would like to express sincere thank you to Dr. Constance Wash, Dr. Cherie Hayostek, and La Posada Hospice for their amazing care and support. You all went above and beyond to ensure Fred's quality and dignity during his battle to the very end. Services provided by La Paz Grahams Funeral Home 555 W. Amador Ave. Las Cruces.
La Paz - Graham's Funeral Home - Las Cruces
555 West Amador
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Aug. 31, 2014