Obituary Joe Villa July 4, 2014
Published:  July 04, 2014

Joe Villa

Following a short illness, Joe Villa, of Santa Paula, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 30th, 2014, at the age of 93, with his family by his side.

Joe was born in El Paso, Texas, on August 27th, 1920. Born to parents Francisco and Asuncion Villa, he was the youngest of 8 children. At the age of 6, he and his family moved to Santa Paula, where he subsequently remained for 87 more years. He attended Barbara Webster and McKevett Elementary Schools, Isbell Middle School and graduated from Santa Paula High School in 1940, calling his high school years “very happy years”. He then moved on to Ventura College and completed one year. After leaving Ventura College, Joe took on his first job under the direction of his brother Frank, becoming an auto mechanic. In 1943, he was drafted into the Army as an Artillery Mechanic. After two years of faithful service he was honorably discharged in 1945. From there, after word of hiring at Port Hueneme Seabee Base, he inquired about a job but was told the books were closed and no position was available. Giving his thanks and preparing to leave, he was called back and asked if he was a veteran. He very proudly replied yes, where upon he was quickly told that when it came to a veteran, the books were always open and he was hired on the spot. He remained at Port Hueneme Seabee Base until he retired at age 52 with 25 years of civil service under his wing. Not wanting to slow down too much upon retirement, he studied for and obtained his realtor license and enjoyed using it with Hudson Realty.

 Joe had a passion for giving back and supporting the youth of the community, volunteering numerous hours of his time with them. He was a co-founder of the Santa Paula Police Boys Club, which later became the Boys and Girls Club and is now called the Santa Clara Valley Boys and Girls Club. He became scout master of Troop 307, sponsored by the United Methodist Church, after his son Robert exhibited an interest in becoming a boy scout, attending many events and activities together as father and son. He was an active member of El Buen Pastor Methodist Church for many years, where he continued to practice his mechanic skills by helping repair the church bus. He had a natural talent in writing, spending time in his retirement writing small stories based on his life and history. His family, especially his grandchildren who gave him the name “Grandpa Joe”, now treasure these stories as a written memory that will never be forgotten.  Joe and his wife Alex also had a great love for animals, with a deep emphasis on dogs, lending a generous helping hand in rescuing and finding homes for stray dogs. They were even known in the neighborhood as the place to go for help in dog rescues or foster homes.

 Joe was preceded in death by his first wife Frances Villa and his son Robert Villa. Joe is survived by his wife of 39 years, Alexandria Villa; his daughter, Linda Davis (husband Frank); daughter in law, Carol Villa; grandchildren Patrick Villa (wife Arlene), Lora Villa Blackshear (husband Eric); great grandchildren, Buddy, PJ and Maya Villa, and Reece Blackshear; and numerous nieces and nephews.

 We would like to thank the staff at Vista Cove Care Center, with a very special thank you to RN Laura, speech therapist Julie and the whole therapy team. Their compassionate care was truly extraordinary and much appreciated by the family. They never gave up on Joe.

 In Lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Santa Clara Valley Boys and Girls Club, care of Jan Marholin in Joe’s name.

A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held at 11:00am, Monday, July 7, 2014 at Chapel of the Angels, 600 East Pleasant Street, Santa Paula. Committal & Interment will follow at Santa Paula Cemetery. Visitation will precede from 9:30 am until 10:45 am.

For map and directions to ceremony locations and to sign the family’s online guestbook, share stories, and post pictures please visit our website: and click on Joe’s name located below “Recent Obituaries”.

Funeral Arrangements are under the direction of the Family Owned and Operated Robert Rey Garcia Jr. Funeral Services, Santa Paula 805.229.7054

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