Ben Valdez, 75, of Grand Island died Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at his daughter's home in Greenwood, Neb.
Mass of Resurrection will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Mary's Cathedral. The Rev. Joseph Joseph will officiate.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home, with a rosary service at 7 p.m. Following visitation. Mr. Valdez will be cremated. Burial of ashes will be at a later date.
Mr. Valdez was born March 3, 1938, at Horton, Kan., to Ventura and Thomasa (Contreas) Valdez.
Survivors of the immediate family include his wife, Emily of Grand Island; two daughters and sons-in-law, Christina and Eric Hittner of Gretna, Michele and Jose Aguirre of Greenwood; four sons and three daughters-in-law, Ben Joseph and Julie Valdez of Las Vegas, Nev., Gabriel Valdez of Grand Island, Anthony "Shayne" and Jodie Valdez of Waverly and Lance and Melodie Valdez of Omaha; seven grandchildren, Jessica Valdez, Joe Aguirre, Richelle Valdez, Aubree Valdez, Kyle Hittner, Michaela Hittner and Jaden Valdez; five stepgrandchildren, Jada and Joshua Gonzales, Marissa Woolard, and Alex and Dylan Hesselguesser; and three brothers, Ygnacio Valdez and Jesse Valdez of Grand Island and Nato Valdez of Chicago.
He grew up in Grand Island and graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1956. He entered the United States Army on June 27, 1956, and served as a paratrooper in Lebanon. He was honorably discharged on June 26, 1962.
On April 6, 1960, he was united in marriage to Emily Sanchez at Hastings. The couple made their home and raised their family in Grand Island. Ben worked at Swift and Company (later Monfort's) and McCain Foods until retiring in 2000. He loved to watch football, especially the University of Notre Dame. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Ben and Emily recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.
He was a member of St. Mary's Cathedral.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Mary Trejo.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society
or St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
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Published by The Grand Island Independent on Apr. 12, 2013.