Manuel M. Alaniz, 78, of Mountain Home, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, at a local care center.
A viewing will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 3-6 p.m. at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel.
Manuel was born in Kingsville, Texas, to Alberto and Zulema Alaniz.
While attending Henrietta M. King High School, Manuel met the love of his life, the beautiful and first Hispanic cheerleader of their school, Ofelia Mendez.
Manuel joined the United States Air Force in April of 1951 and, soon to be stationed at Holloman AFB in New Mexico, he married his sweetheart on Sept. 11 of the same year, to take her along with him to begin a journey of unconditional love between family and country.
Their first son, Jody, was born while at Holloman, but soon left them to become one of our little angels in heaven.
Manuel went to the Korean War and upon returning, in1954, he and Ofelia were stationed at Lake Charles, La., where their second son, Joe, was born.
In 1956, he moved his family to Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, where daughter Sylvia was born, and following on to Dyess AFB in 1959 where their daughter, Sandra, was born.
In 1964, while stationed at Bergstrom AFB in Austin, Texas, Manuel worked the in-flight kitchen, servicing Air Force One during the presidency of LBJ.
In 1965, Manuel left for the Vietnam War and returned in 1966 to move his family one last time to San Antonio, where he worked at Kelly AFB until his retirement in 1972.
Upon retiring, Manuel went to school at St. Phillips Community College in San Antonio and received his associates degree in mechanics.
He secured a civil service position as a jet engine mechanic at Kelly AFB until 1984 when he and Ofelia purchased their beloved 20 acre ranch in Riviera, Texas. Manuel continued working at the Army Depot in Corpus Christi until his retirement from civil service in 1995.
Manuel truly enjoyed working his land and raising Santa Getrudis cattle alongside the love of his life, Ofelia. Together they worked to make their retirement dream come true in the ranch they both adored. It was the site of many birthday, anniversary and wedding celebrations as well as celebrations of life coming and going and done in the spirit known only to South Texas natives-full blown and memorable.
In 2007, after Manuel became ill, the decision was made to move to Idaho with his daughter, Sandra, and her former husband, Steve, in order to help with his care.
Manuel moved into the Elmore County LTCU soon after coming to Idaho and was cared for with love and kindness that is unequaled anywhere else.
Manuel died in the arms of his beloved wife, one day short of their 60th wedding anniversary.
Manuel is survived by his wife, Ofelia, son Joe (Valerie) Alaniz, of San Antonio, daughter Sylvia (Steve) Steen also of San Antonio, daughter Sandra Sessions and her former husband, Steve, of Mountain Home, his three brothers, Alberto (Rosa) Alaniz, Alfonso (Lupe) Alaniz and Rolando Alaniz, his sister, Elvira (Otto) Moya and grandchildren Christopher Alaniz and Britany Boone, Jason and Josh Steen, Colleen Hebert and Coleton Sessions. Manuel also is survived by severn great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jody, and parents Alberto and Zulema Alaniz.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Elmore Long Term Care, 895 N. 6th East St., Mountain Home, ID 83647.