Johnny Orona Villa June 16, 1941 - January 16, 2013 Johnny Orona Villa was born in Atresia, New Mexico, but he spent much of his well lived life in Visalia where he graduated from Redwood High School class of 1960. He worked all of his life, starting in the fields picking cotton with his parents who were migrant farm workers at the time. In San Jose he obtained a job working for Westinghouse Corporation starting as a floor sweeper then quickly learning the trade to become a machinist. After 13 years he moved to Madera where he spent 21 years at FMC quickly moving up the ladder to end his career as a Night Shift Supervisor. His legacy is about the man who befriended everyone he knew, and in turn was loved by them. He was known for helping everyone in need including family, friends, neighbors and even the tamale guy, who came to visit after he heard of our fathers passing. He cried and said that if local vendors ever needed to sell something, to pay a bill or help feed their family they all knew to come to Johnny and he would buy whether he needed what they were selling or not. He was a hell raiser too and lived life in the fast lane. Oftentimes, in his early years, he was in many bar room brawls, he then relied on his best friend and big brother Al Villa (Fresno's first hispanic elected to the city council) to bail him out, if he was unavailable his last resort was his loving wife of 33 years Emma Villa - the last of three and the only one who would put up with him. His days as a rebel eventually wore off or at least slowed down, thank God. He loved his Harley-Davidson and was often seen riding shirtless with his black Harley vest and helmet. Don't let his rough and tough exterior fool you. This hid a heart that was three times larger than most. He was known for bringing home the homeless for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners, much to the horror of his daughter, Maine's first hispanic elected official House of Representative member Honorable Lisa Renee Villa. Rep. Villa recalls her father fondly, and says that those moments made her realize that the greatest gift one can have is empathy for your fellow man and to never, ever judge a book by it's cover. He is survived by his wife Emma Elizabeth Villa, daughter Maine State Representative Lisa Villa, three sons, Johnny Villa Jr, head coach for Coalinga High School Horned Toads and Division Coach of the Year, Jerry Villa, a Desert Storm Veteran and 20 year employee with the California Department of Corrections, youngest son Jeremy Villa, Parts Technician, grandson Brandon Pullen of Maine, who he raised like a son. John raised and loved Emma's children as his own. Russell Duskin of Oregon, Rico Hernandez, Crystand Urbick and Harriet Zamudio all of Washington state. He had 38 Grandchildren, 11 great grand children and his siblings Honorable Al Villa and Lupe Villa of Clovis, Margie Villa and Virginia O. Villa of Visalia. He is predeceased by his mother Selia and Ynez Villa of Visalia and brother Tirso Villa of Visalia. He lived his life to the fullest and he was everyone's favorite brother, uncle and friend. It is our wish to share with everyone, that a great man who was once here in now gone. Rest in Peace dad. Cheers to a life well loved and lived from June 16, 1941 - January 16, 2013. Visitation will be held at Miller Memorial Chapel on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 from 11am until 2pm. Funeral services will follow at 2pm on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at Miller Memorial Chapel. Graveside services will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 10:00am at the Visalia District Cemetery. Arrangements by Miller Memorial Chapel, Visalia, CA.
Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2013