Alfonso "Poncho" Cruz Alfonso "Poncho" Cruz, 26 of Woodlake, California passed away on Monday, June 3, 2013 in Tulare, California. Poncho was born in Michoacán, Mexico on February 11, 1987 to Samuel and Estella Cruz. His parents moved to Woodlake, California when Poncho was five years old. He attended Woodlake Schools, graduating with the Woodlake Tiger Class of 2005. At Woodlake High, Poncho played soccer and football. He was a member of the 2004 Valley Championship Soccer Team. His passion for soccer earned him numerous awards over the years. He broke the single season scoring record in 2005, scoring 26 goals, he was named 2004 East Sequoia Offensive Player of the Year, 2005 East Sequoia Most Valuable Player, 2005 All-County team and was named to the Fresno Bee All Area Team. After graduating, Poncho accepted a partial scholarship to play soccer at CSU-Stanislaus. He played and studied there for two years. Upon returning home to Woodlake, Poncho continued playing and began volunteer coaching and helping with soccer. He was a huge supporter of Tiger sports, he especially enjoyed watching his nephews and future brother-in-law Nathan play football. In 2012 he became a member of the Woodlake Lion's Club. Poncho, like many of the men in his family, was a welder, currently proudly employed by Bradford Steel, Inc. He worked in Livermore while attending CSU-Stanislaus, Woodlake and in various towns throughout Tulare County. He was no stranger to hard work and enjoyed being able to provide for his family. Family was very important to him. He enjoyed gatherings with family and friends. Poncho was always ready and willing to lend a helping hand to his family and friends. Poncho's proudest moment came on March 28, 2011 the day he became a father to Elijah. Whenever he spoke about his "Papas" his face would light up. In his short life, being a father was his greatest accomplishment. He was also anxiously waiting to meet his second son and begin building his soccer team. Although gone from this earth, Poncho has left a legacy that will live on forever. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Poncho leaves to cherish his memory, his fiancé, Desiree Sahagun and their son, Elijah Cruz, both of Woodlake and their son, Gabriel Cruz who arrived on Wednesday, June 5, 2013; his parents, Samuel and Estella Cruz of Woodlake; two brothers, Fernando and wife, Ariana Cruz and Gustavo Cruz ; one sister, Bernadita Cruz, all of Woodlake; nephews, Matthew Cruz, Andrew Cruz and Yudixie Cruz, all of Woodlake and a host of extended family and many, many friends. Visitation will be held at Miller Memorial Chapel, 134 N. Cypress in Woodlake on Monday, June 10, 2013 from 3 - 5:30 p.m. with Recitation of Rosary beginning at 6 p.m. at St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 9 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church of Woodlake. Burial will be at Woodlake Cemetery. Tributes and condolences may be made at www.miller memorialchapel.com. Arrangements entrusted to Miller Memorial Chapel, 134 N. Cypress, Woodlake, CA 93286 (559) 732-8371.
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Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on June 7, 2013