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Rafael Vega

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Rafael Vega Obituary
Rafael Vega
Rafael Vega, 75, of Alamogordo, died Saturday night, March 5, 2011, after a tough fight against cancer.
Rafael is survived by Mary, his beloved wife of 41 years; his only son Raphael and his loving daughters Suzanne and Angelique; six grandchildren, Marc, Heather and Christopher, her husband, Sarah, Mary, Tony and Celeste; one great-grandson, Marley; his brother and sister-in-law Raul and Refugia "Cuca" Vega and their children; his father-in-law Jack Shires; his cousin Dionisio Balseiro; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jack and Terry Summy; two very special nephews, Scott Summy and Raul Vega Jr. and their families; his god-daughters Anna Vega, Rebecca Quintana-Williams and Christina Quintana; his very good friend H.W. Lang Sr.; and Smokey, his cat and friend. Rafael was predeceased by his parents, Ladislao and Gloria Vega.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Rafael immigrated to Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1957 and was a proud citizen of the United States. He served his compulsory duty in the U.S. Army with an honorable discharge. A physical therapist for 36 years, Rafael spent the last 25 years of his career at Fort Bayard Medical Center, New Mexico, as chief physical therapist. He wrote and published numerous articles, papers and techniques, many of which are still used today. He was also a clinical instructor for the University of New Mexico School of Physical Therapy and was often called upon for his expertise in the field. After his retirement, he became a photographer, receiving many awards and accolades. He was represented by the Pat Beatty Gallery in Alamogordo.
Rafael chose to live out his days in New Mexico because he loved its mountains and people. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, son-in-law, godfather and cousin. He had a warm heart and passion for life, nature and all things that are good, kind and honorable. He was, without doubt, a noble and quintessential gentleman.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the or CAPPED of Alamogordo. Our thanks go out to Alamogordo Hospice (Erva, Sharon and Paige) along with Alice and Lisa for their care and kindness and to his personal physician, Dr. Gary Anireddy, for his excellent care and friendship.
"End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path … one that we all must take. The gray curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it." ~ Gandalf
The Vega family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home.
To sign the online register book, please visit
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Mar. 10 to Apr. 10, 2011
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