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Manuel Abeyta (1928 - 2013)

  • "My Dear Abeyta Family;;You all have been like family to my..."
    - Bessie Pressett
  • "All of my dad's brothers and sisters are special to me. I..."
    - DeeAnn Abeyta-Lensen
  • "I was a Ripon High graduate in 1978. Coach Abeyta was a..."
    - Edward McKay
  • "Bye, Coach"
    - Gracie Marx

Manuel Abeyta
June 20, 1928 - August 4, 2013
Manuel Abeyta, fondly known throughout his teaching career as "Coach.", passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family, on Sunday August 4, 2013. Manuel was 85 years old. Manuel was born in the town of Fruita, Colorado on June 20, 1928. He was the third child of 11 born to Andrew and Aurora (Dora) Abeyta. His youth was spent with his brother, James, going to work with their father in the coal mines.  During the summers, his father worked in the mountains taking the family with him. Fishing in the streams behind their cabin, camping out with his brother, James and Father under the Colorado sky were some of the fondest memories of his youth. In 1950, Manuel joined the Navy, serving 4 years until 1954. He attended Idaho State, in Pocatello, Idaho, receiving a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education.  In the following years, Manuel would go on to receive his Masters at the University of Utah. On July 12, 1961, Manuel married Edith Wood. During this year, Manuel accepted a position at Ripon Unified School District as their Physical Education teacher for boys. Starting in September 1961 he was Ripon's High School Varsity Head Coach "Coach" of the Football, Basketball, Track and Wrestling teams for many years. He also served as Ripon's Athletic Director. These activities would take him and his "Coach Abeyta's Boy's" through numerous years of winning sports honors and trophies for Ripon High School. If you didn't know about "Coach" before High School, You did when you arrived. Manuel loved hunting, fishing and his dogs. Pheasant season could never get here soon enough. Summers were spent fishing with family and friends and were a favorite activity during his younger years.  Manuel was a member of the Lions Club, Quarterback Club, Sportsman Club, and a Veteran Of Foreign Wars. After Retiring in 1993, Manuel spent time substitute teaching classes. Art was one of his favorites, his love of painting sports in action was a favorite pastime. Always the Coach at heart, you would see him at Football and Basketball games, he would be in the bleachers enjoying all those sports he loved. Manuel was blessed to know his great-grandchildren during his lifetime, Zoe, Maya, Ella, Anthony, Ayden and Avery. Manuel was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Aurora (Dora) Abeyta, his loving wife, Edith, his brother, James, and sisters, Pearl Lane and Pati Abeyta Olsen. Manuel is survived by his step daughters: Allyn Costa and Janel Sharp, his step-son Daniel Wood. 6 grandchildren, 6 great - grandchildren, brothers, Harry Abeyta (Sally), David and Charles (Chuck) (Carolyn) Abeyta, sisters, Jennie Hansen, Loretta (Tom) Jewkes, Margaret (Marty) (George) Alves and Carol (Terry) Bland, and all of his numerous nieces and nephews. There will be a Family Private Mass and Burial on August 22, 2013 and: A Public Celebration of Life will be held at Spring Creek Golf & Country Club, Ripon, CA,  August 22nd 2:00 - 5:00 PM. A Special Thank You for all the many well wishes from the entire community who shared Manuel's life. You are not forgotten. Donations in memory of Manuel can be made to: Pacifica Senior Living, 2325 St. Pauls Way, Modesto, Ca 95355, or The Ripon Quarterback Club. For condolences to the family, please visit their website at

Published in the Modesto Bee on Aug. 18, 2013
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